Make your own free website on


MORSE, Abner was a son of Calvin and Elvira (Moody) Morse and was born at Randolph, Orange County, Vt., October 31, 1819. At the age of eighteen years he became actively engaged as a teacher, which occupation he followed for a number of years with marked success. He was for a year or more editor of the "Green Mountain Herald," a paper published at West Randolph, Vt. February 20, 1843, he married Julia A. smith, who died of consumption in the autumn of 1844. He married for his second wife Mary D. Randall at Braintree, Vt., November 22, 1846. In 1856 he removed to the West, locating at River Falls, where he continued to reside until his death, May 7, 1881. His widow is still living and resides at River Falls. After migrating West he adapted himself to various occupations as circumstances offered. While attending to other duties he read law and was admitted to practice his profession, which he did quite extensively. He corresponded for a number of years with the "Prescott Journal" and when that paper ceased to exist he purchased a newspaper outfit and in 1872 started the "River Falls Journal." In 1877 while in an active campaign for the office of probate judge he suffered a stroke of paralysis which incapacitated him for active work and from the effects of which he never fully recovered. He suffered a second stroke from which he expired. Mr. Morse was a Republican in his politics and wielded a wide influence in Pierce county, but he rarely sought office for himself. He was one of the charter members of the I. O. O. F. of River Falls. In his memorial Prof. G. W. Pratt said of him: "The people intuitively recognized in him a leader worthy of their confidence, and they were not mistaken, for no trust reposed in him was ever betrayed. He has left his impress on all the institutions which have given River Falls a most enviable reputation at home and abroad. We pride ourselves, and justly, on our beautiful Normal School, sending forth its treasures of culture and learning to every part of the land, but as we recall his amost herculean labors in its behalf, we feel justified in saying that to him, more than to any other man, are we indebted for its location here. The name of Abner Morse will always be associated with the most renowned promoters and benefactors of the city of River Falls. Coming to this place, he became immediately identified with the progressive interest of the community. By the force of his personality and by reason of superior intelligence and good judgment, wide experience, generous temperament and persistent activity, he became a leader and power. Unassuming and unselfish, he proposed and aided in the advance of others to preferment rather than to the attainment of personal aggrandizement and the gratification of selfish ambition." Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909

MORSE, Calvin Randall was born at Bethel, Vt., August 11, 1847, son of the late Hon. Abner Morse. The father of the subject of this sketch came West to Wisconsin in 1856, traveling the entire distance by team, between December 8, 1855, and March 12, 1856, when he arrived at River Falls, Wis. Calvin R. Morse was educated at the River Falls schools and then learned the printer's trade with M. B. Kimball in the "Herald" office at Ellsworth, Wis. He was a partner with his father in publishing the "River Falls Journal" form 1872 until 1877, when he assumed sole management, and for about thirty-two years he has been editor and proprietor. In politics he is a Republican and has filled many town offices and was president of the school board of River Falls for six years. In the fall of 1898 he was elected a member of the assembly, receiving 1,725 votes, against 568 for F. M. White, the Democratic candidate. He served on the committees on cities and public lands of the assembly in 1899. He became a Mason, February 23, 1869, when he was initiated in River Falls Lodge, no. 109. On August 4, 1870, Mr. Morse married Minnie B. Horton, who was a popular teacher in the public schools and an artist of considerable talent, conducting classes in oil painting for several years. She died September 9, 1886, at the age of twenty-seven years. There were three children born to her. Raymond Horton died at the age of fourteen months. Marion Abner died March 15, 1900, and Stanley when twelve years of age served as a page in the legislature during the session of 1899 and in the session of 1903. Mr. Morse has always taken an active interest in the upbuilding of River Falls, both financially and politically, with a generous and public spirit. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909

MOSER,BALDASAR, (Civil War) carpenter, Plum City, Pierce county, was born in Switzerland, and was one of a family of thirteen children. He came to this country while young and settled in Highland, Ill. In 1856 he moved to Red Wing, Minn., and went into the wood trade. The same year he married Anna, daughter of D. and J. Offolter, and three children were born to them: Mary (now Mrs. Hophan) lives near Plum City; Mina (now Mrs. Oberding) and B. Moser Jr., who is married to Miss Hophau. In 1880 they adopted as one of their own family a child six months old named Ida. Mrs. Moser died in April 1882. In 1884 Mr. Moser married Rossetta Robeson and one child has been born to them, Ella, who died in infancy. Mr. Moser has lived in Plum City a great many years, engaged in farming and carpenter work, but for four years he had a saw-mill. He sold it and went to work at coopering for two years. He enlisted, January 3, 1865, in Co. E, 144th Illinois volunteer infantry, and served until the regiment was discharged, then came back to Plum City and began building and doing cabinet work. He is now erecting a large building preparatory to opening a furniture store and is doing a large business. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. and the G. A. R. He was reared a Roman Catholic, and in politics has always been a true and consistent democrat. --Taken from the "Historical and Biographical Album of the Chippewa Valley Wisconsin.

MOYER, Charles H. was born in 1853 in Constantine, St. Joseph county, Mich., son of William and Romelia (Tracey) Moyer, natives of New York state, the latter being still a resident of Constantine. They were the parents of four children-Charles H., the subject of this sketch; Arthur, living in Tennessee; Emeline, now of Three Rivers, Mich., and Jennie, deceased. Mr. Moyer received his education in the common schools and then took up farming. In 1877 he came to Pierce county, and in 1884 he moved upon his present farm of 120 rich acres on section 20, Clifton township. He was married November 9, 1882, to Mary Copley, daughter of John S. Copley, by whom he has two children-Grace May, born in 1883, and Charles Edward, born in 1896. Mr. Moyer is a Republican in politics and has served as justice of the peace for three years. He is a good citizen and a faithful friend, well liked by all who know him. Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909.

MULLEN, Margarette Anna lived in Pierce County from about 1860 until her death in 1892. She was born about 1840 in Craigs, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.  She married John Campbell McKeever about 1857 in County Antrim, Ireland and they had a son, John McKeever, Jr. born on March 22, 1859, while the family was living in Ireland.  The three immigrated to the United States and to Pierce County about 1861. Margarette and John McKeever farmed in the areas of Trimbelle and Oak Grove Townships and had also rented farms north of River Falls, Wisconsin. Margarette and John McKeever had a total of nine children before she died at the McKeever home in Prescott, on January 10, 1892.  A family story is that Margarette was just sitting in front of a mirror and brushing her hair (preparing to go to church) and she simply fell over and died. Margarette and John Campbell McKeever's children were all born in Pierce County with the exception of John McKeever, Jr. (Ireland). The children's names were: John Jr., James, Robert, Nancy, Mary, Margaret Ann, Matthew, William Harvey, and Harvey Ward. Margarette Anna Mullen-McKeever is buried in the Big River (abandoned) Cemetery in Section 1 of Oak Grove Township, Pierce County, WI  - No headstone has ever been located and no burial records have been found. Only burial sources are family descendant reports. Photograph is of Margarette Mullen-Campbell-McKeever (circa 1860) wearing the Campbell Family Tartan Plaid Shawl. Biography supplied by Robert Patrick, descendant.

MUMFORD, Alexander J., was born near Meadville, Crawford county, Pa., September 24, 1849. He came to this locality with his parents in the early days and received a good common school education, afterward working on the farm with his father, where he has since remained, being now the owner of the old homestead. He carries on a general farming and stock raising business, his place being one of the model farms of the county. He has large and commodious buildings and a fine home beautifully arranged and tastefully furnished, both Mr. and Mrs. Mumford being noted for their hospitality. Mr. Mumford has been on the town board and is a member of Ellsworth Lodge No. 11150, I. O. O. F. In politics he is a Democrat. Mr. Mumford was married December 8, 1872, to Sophia Wirth, daughter of George Wirth, formerly of Ohio. This union has been blessed with six children: Frank D., Herbert B., Evelyn E., Carrie W. (deceased), George W. and Martha M. Evelyn married Herbert Mero and has two children, Irene and Nellie. George W. married Florence G. Roatch. Alexander J. Mumford is a good citizen and a progressive and popular man. His father, Jackson Mumford, of whom a portrait is found in the volume, spent his early days in Pennsylvania, moving to Clinton, Ia., about 1855, farming there about nine years and coming to Ellsworth township in the spring of 1864. He purchased 120 acres in section 34, which he at once set about to improve and cultivate. He raised a family of four boys and one girl, in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, giving them all the advantages of a good education. They are: James S. (deceased), Martha, Arthur, David and Alexander J. During the forty odd years that Jackson Mumford lived in this community, he won the esteem of all by his honest and upright bearing and his public-spirited endeavors. He was always a patron and defender of the public school system and for thirty years acted as clerk of his school district. He was one of those men whose work, influence and example have tended to make Pierce County the law-abiding, progressive and prosperous county that it is today. His memory will never be forgotten. Jackson Mumford died February 27, 1903, at the age of eighty-six years, and his esteemed wife, Margaret (Johnson) Mumford, passed away February 12, 1889, at the age of sixty-nine years. They are laid to rest in the Ellsworth cemetery. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909).

MURPHY, Edward a son of Thomas and Dora (Deavereaux) Murphy, was born in the township of El Paso, Pierce county, Wis., February 20, 1867, attended the district schools and assisted upon the farm. His parents were natives of Ireland and immigrated to the United States when they were quite young. After their marriage they came to Pierce county, Wisconsin, settling in El Paso township about the year 1857, where the father purchased sixty acres. There he lived and afterwards added eighty acres in Ellsworth township adjoining the home place. He died April 12, 1903, and is wife died April 1, 1903. Both are buried in the Catholic Cemetery of Ellsworth thownship. The father was eighty-four and the mother seventy-five years old at the time of their death. Mr. Murphy owned about 220 acres of land in all and was engaged in farming all his life, and voted the Democratic ticket always. After Edward left home and started in business for himself he purchased forty acres of land on section 36, and with the eighty acres left him by his father he has 120 acres and is now engaged in farming nd stock raising and is a large stock owner. He has put on all the improvements on his place and has made it a model farm, having large barns for shelter of grain and stock. A Republican in politics, he is chariman of Ellsworth township board and has held the office for seven years, being re-elected at the spring election of 1908 with no opposition. He has also held some of the other offices, and is a member of the Catholic hcurch and the Modern Brotherhood of America. Mr. Murphy married November 24, 1897, Katherine Quinn, born in Ellsworth, Wis., daughter of Jeremiah and Johanna (Crane) Quinn. Mr. Quinn was born in Pierce county, as was also his wife, and their parents were among the early settlers of the county. The father of Mrs. Murphy was a farmer during the latter part of hid life in Ellsworth township. He died about the year 1895. His widow is noe residing at Red Wing, Minn. Mrs. Murphy was educated in the schools of Ellsworth and remained at home until her marriage. She is the mother of four children, as follows: William R., born August 30, 1899; Gertrude E., born June 13, 1901; Raymond T., born August 11, 1902, and Edward F., born March 13, 1908.

MURPHY, James was born August 8, 1858, in El Paso Township, Pierce County, Wisconsin, on the old homestead where his father Thomas Murphy, first settled. He now resides on section 26, Ellsworth Township, where he owns and operates 120 acres of rich farmland. He received a good district school education and assisted his father on the farm until he was twenty-one years of age. In 1880 he went to North Dakota and spent five years in the West, working at farming; then removed to Pierce County and bought eighty acres, his present farm. It was at that time wild land; he cleared it and has it now nearly all under cultivation. He added forty acres adjoining on the north. He has put on all of the improvements, a good house and barns, and here he has since made his home, engaged in tilling the soil and stock raising. In his politics he is a Republican and has served as chairman of the township of Ellsworth a period of three years. He was assessor of the township for four or five years. In 1902 he was elected on the Republican ticket to the office of sheriff of Pierce County and served during the years of 1903-4. During his term of office he resided at Ellsworth, the county seat, and upon the expiration of his term of office he returned to his farm and has been engaged in farming since. Mr. Murphy was united in marriage April 29, 1891, to Isabelle Taggart, born in Hartland township, Pierce County, Wisconsin, November 8, 1868, and educated in the district schools. Her father, Daniel Taggart, and her mother, Margaret (Boyle) Taggart, were born in Ireland and settled in Hartland Township on a farm of 160 acres. Her father died in 1880 at the age of fifty years and her mother passed away in 1900. Mrs. Murphy is one of a family of nine children, eight of whom are now living, all born in Hartland Township. She taught school for four years in the district schools of Pierce County. Mr. and Mrs. Murphy are the parents of five children, all born on the present home place as follows: Frances T., born April 13, 1892, a student in the Ellsworth High School; Grace M., born August 12, 1894, is attending the Ellsworth High School; Ethel M., born December 27, 1896, and Dora W., born April 7, 1898, attend the district schools, and James A. was born May 13, 1906. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909).

MURPHY, John, was born in Ireland in 1838, son of Timothy and Catherine Broghan. He came to America with his parents when six or seven years old, and received his early education in New York state, where his parents resided until 1859. He came westward to Ohio in 1850; in 1855 came to Pierce county, Wisconsin, and at once purchased his present farm in Oak Grove, where he has since remained. In 1858 he was married to Bridget Dervian, of Fox Lake, Wis., by whom he has seven children, six of whom are living. Timothy is a farmer of Saskatchewan, Canada; Margaret is the widow of Mr. O'Toole, of St. Paul, who was an engineer inspector for the Great Northern; Martin Paul lives at Oak Grove; John, Jr., also lives in Oak Grove; Catherine and William H. are at home. Mrs. Murphy died at Oak Grove in 1877. Mr. Murphy is a Republican in politics and a member of the Roman Catholic church. He has been chairman of the town board twenty-one years, assessor nine years, member of county board eighteen years, sheriff one term, 1870-71, constable and justice of the peace, still holding the latter position. He owns 200 acres of good land, raises horses and small grain. Mr. Murphy was married in 1878 to Elizabeth Conroy, of Pierce county, by whom he has five children: T. J., Michael, Emmett, Mary E. and Annie. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909