"Biographies, O, of Wabasha Co., MN, from the 1884 book"

BIOGRAPHIES: Surnames Beginning With "O"

From the book about Wabasha Co. Minnesota
Compiled by Dr. L. H. Bunnell
Published Chicago by H. H. Hill, Publishers, 1884
Republished Currently by Higginson Books

O'Brien, John, (page 1068), farmer and stock-raiser, Lake City. Mr. O'Brien is but another illustration of what industry, pluck and perseverance will accomplish. He was born in St. Lawrence county, New York, in 1837, and is a son of John and Jane O'Brien, both natives of Ireland, and, although of the same name, no relation. They were married in St. Lawrence county, New York, and there settled down on a farm and became the parents of nine children, eight of whom are still living, six near the old home and two in this county. The father died in 1880, and the mother still resides on the old farm. Mr. O'Brien received a common school education as well as a thorough training in the principles of economy and thrift during his early youth on the farm. In the spring of 1857 he came to Lake City and at once went to work at his trade (that of mason), following it three years. He then bought a farm of one hundred and sixty acres of government land, in the township of Lake, was married the same year to Miss Hannah Mahony, and engaged in farming. After a ten years' residence on this farm he purchased a smaller one in Lake City and removed to town, where his wife died in February, 1871. His second marriage was in July, 1874, to Mrs. Sarah Failing, formerly Miss Sarah Munger, a native of Syracuse, New York. He has six children living, whose names in the order of their birth are: Mary J., wife of John Steel, of La Crosse, Wisconsin; J. Sylvester, M. Frank and James R., on the farm in Mount Pleasant, and Catharine B. by his former wife, and George A. by his present. Mr. O'Brien now owns, besides a small farm within the city limits, a fine farm of six hundred and twenty acres in Lake and Mount Pleasant townships. In religion they are of the Catholic faith. Politically he is independent, supporting the man rather than the party.

O'Brien, Richard, (page 1310), farmer and stock-raiser, of Lake Township, is a brother of John O'Brien, of Lake City, and like him, one of this county's successful farmers. He was born in St. Lawrence county, New York, May, 1840, and , like his brother, was reared and educated on the farm, where he remained till the fall of 1863, when he came to Lake City, Minnesota, and at once applied himself to labor at anything to earn an honest dollar, and so continued two years. By this time economy and industry had rewarded him with the necessary means to purchase one hundred and sixty acres of land in Lake township, where he at once engaged in agricultural pursuits. Although Mr. O'Brien was not among the early arrivals in this county who secured free homes from the government, he is one of the successful landowners of the county, having added to his first purchase till he is now the independent owner of nine hundred and forty-seven acres of land in sections 14, 15, 22, 23 in Lake township, six hundred acres of which is under cultivation, the remainder is wild pasture and all under his own personal supervision. The products of his farm is largely disposed of through the medium market stock (cattle and hogs), of which he turns off yearly about eight hundred dollars' worth. He married Margaret McShane, a native of Ireland, and by this union they have five children, as follows: Edward, William, Thomas, Anna May and Lula. Family are members of the Catholic church. His executive ability has been appreciated by his fellow-citizens from the fact that he has held the office of chairman of the town board for over ten years, with the exception of one term, when he declined the nomination in order that his entire time might be given to his farm and stock.

Odink, M. A., (page 1181), druggist, bookseller, stationer and dealer in paints, oils, etc., Pembroke street, two doors south of Main, premises owned by Joseph Odink, father of the M. A. Odink. The drug house fronts twenty-five feet on Pembroke street, and extends fifty-eight feet to the rear. Business was established in 1878 as Legge & Odink, became Toussaint & Odink, and M. A. Odink in March, 1882. The prescription department is under charge of B. A. Slade, a graduate of the Chemical and Pharmaceutical department of the Illinois State University at Champaign. Business is good, and shows an increase of fifteen per cent over corresponding period of 1882. Mr. M. A. Odink is a native of Jackson county, Iowa; came to this county when six years of age, his parents settling at Read's Landing. Young Odink attended school at home, and then at high school in Winona, taking a final course at Bryant & Stratton's Business College in Chicago, from which he graduated in 1870. He is unmarried, and resides with his parents on Fourth street.

Ordway, Alonza, (page 1338 ~ not listed in the index), partner in business of his father as above noted (Elijah Ordway), was born in Topsham, Vermont, January 20, 1857. He was educated in the schools of this village, and has taught eight winters. On the 22d of February, 1883, he married Augusta Beier, who was born in Germany, and is four years her husband's junior.

Ordway, Elijah, (page 1338 ~ not listed in the index), hardware merchant, Elgin, is a grandson of Benjamin Ordway, of Vermont. The latter was one of a family of twenty-two children, of whom all but two grew to maturity. Benjamin Ordway and Mary Dickerman, parents of this subject, were, like himself, born in the town of Tunbridge, Vermont, Elijah's birth dating February 27, 1834. He grew up on a farm in Orange County, and has nearly always been a farmer. He came to Elgin in January, 1867, and has owned and tilled two farms in the township. In 1874 he removed to the village and opened a hardware store, which he sold out soon, and it was afterwards closed up. After the advent of the railroad, it became evident that such a store would pay, and in the spring of 1881, in company with a son, he again opened trade in this line. His store is located on Park street, east of the depot, and is doing a good business. Mr. Ordway's religious faith if Universalism, and he has always adhered to Democratic principles in public policy. He has been five years supervisor of this town, serving two years as Chairman of the Board. He has always been interested in the welfare of the public schools, and to him is due much of the credit for the prosperity of the Elgin schools. The present handsome school building in the village is a monument to his public spirit and perseverance. In March, 1854, he was united in marriage to a distant relative-Miss Rebecka Dickerman, born in Topsham, Vermont. Of the four children given this couple, two are now living, both residents in this village, viz: Benjamin S. and Alonza. Mary Jane died in Vermont at the age of two years, and Stillman here, aged thirteen.

Oswald, H., (page 1223), proprietor of Commercial Hotel, corner of Main and Bailly streets. This house, the property of Lucas Kuehn, was about one-half its present size when Mr. Oswald took possession, in 1879, with the understanding that it should be immediately enlarged and the whole put in first-class condition. As it now stands, the hotel fronts one hundred and twenty feet on Main street, seventy feet on Bailly, with ample office, billiard room, bar, sample-rooms, kitchen, dining-rooms, parlors and family rooms on the first floor, and well arranged guest rooms on the second; of these latter there are thirty-two. The dining-room facing on Bailly street is 30x40 feet, and the table and service such as befit a first-class hotel. The situation of the house is pleasant, at the east end of the principal street of the city, with a charming river view, and such gorgeous sunsets as the sun dips behind the bluffs in the west, as are seldom seen in any land. All the appointments of the house are first-class, and the popularity of the management is evidenced by the fact that the house is always full, and cots a nightly necessity. A good omnibus line runs to all the trains and day-boats, and travelers arriving in the city at any hour find no difficulty in reaching the hotel. The business of the house is thirty per cent in advance of corresponding period of 1882. Mr. Oswald is a native of Saxony; came to America in 1866, and three years later settled in Duluth, where he was engaged in tobacco manufacture. He was living at Red Wing for three years, before coming to this city, in 1879, to assume charge of the Commercial Hotel. Mr. Oswald married Miss Selma Beckert the year before he left Europe for America. They have but one child living, Brunhilda, born in this city October 5, 1882.

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