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POWELL, Nathaniel N, the eldest of the three Powell brothers, was born at Madrid, St. Lawrence county, N.Y., on May 11, 1826. His parents were William Powell and Lucy Newell Powell, both of American birth and descending from good Puritan stock. His paternal ancestors came to America in 1730, those on his mother's side in 1640. Both of his grandfathers served in the Revolutionary War. His early life was spent in St. Lawrence County, where he received a good common school education, supplemented by some higher training. After completion his course of study, he taught school for several seasons. Becoming interested, from glowing reports of the west, in the great possibilities for young men in that newly opened country, about the year 1850 he emigrated to Wisconsin, settling in the town of River Falls, and for a short time engaged in farming. Finding an opportunity to enter into the mercantile business, he opened a store in the building owned by himself and his brothers, known for many years as the Pioneer store. This building was situated at the corner of Main and Maple streets, in River Falls, and was used as a store building for several years. In 1852 Mr. Powell married Martha Ann Hart, and by her had four children, two of whom died in childhood, the others, Eva L. and Winthrop N., surviving him. In politics Mr. Powell was a Republican, believing in the expression of opinion. He united with the Congregational church at the age of sixteen years, and was one of the earlier members of the church established at River Falls. Through his whole life, from the time he professed his belief in truth, he was a consistent Christian, and one who commanded the respect and love of his fellow men. He died at his home in River Falls on February 7, 1862. A modest monument in the Greenwood cemetery marks the last resting-place of a faithful and kind father, a patriotic citizen and an earnest and consistent Christian. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909

POWELL, Oliver S. (and NICHOLS family)
was born June 19, 1831, in Madrid, N. Y., and moved to Augusta, Ill., in 1843, where he lived eight years. His education was obtained in the district schools. In 1849 he went to Stillwater, Minn., bringing the first threshing machine north of Prairie du Chien. He threshed the first grain in the county in the fall of that year for Mr. Fisk on a farm three miles below Stillwater. In November, 1849, he located in River Falls, pre-empting the south half of the southeast quarter of section 36, town 28, range 19, land lying north of those claimed by his brother Nathaniel, and which afterward became a part of the city of River Falls. In 1852 these brothers built the first sawmill, which was situated just below the Greenwood mill. This was burned in 1876. In 1854 the village, called at that time Kinnickinnic, was platted by the Powell brothers, 200 acres being included in the tract. This plat included the upper waterfalls, which are in the city limits, and were donated to C. B. Cox to induce him to put a flouring mill on that site. The name River Falls dates from the establishment of the first postoffice, in 1854. The first frame building in River Falls was built in 1852, by N. N. and O. L. Powell, and was used two years for a dwelling, and afterwards converted into what was known as the "Old Pioneer Store." "Uncle Charlie Cox" and Osburn Strahl got the lumber out for it, and it was sawed at Mr. Cox's mill, just built in Clifton Hollow. Deacon William Powell and Horace Taylor drew the lumber with ox teams. Nathaniel Powell died February 7, 1862, before the place had much of a start. This left Oliver, the younger brother, alone in charge of the principal affairs of the firm, and as subsequent years proved, he was an important factor in the building up of the place, and the general development of the country round about. Overflowing with energy and good will, he was the head man of the neighborhood. Mr. Powell was a representative in the state assembly in 1870-71-72, and in connection with Prof. A. H. Weld, father of Judge Weld, was largely instrumental in locating the fourth State Normal school here. As a neighbor Mr. Powell was obliging and sympathetic, always rejoicing in the prosperity of his neighbors. He had a helping hand for all. It was natural for him to be on the right side of things. In his convictions he was abiding, sometimes intense, but too broad and liberal to be a crank. His understanding of human nature was unusual, and when he chose to exert his influence, he was a power. His public spirit was his pre-eminent quality. Whenever there was an enterprise afloat looking toward the material or moral good of the place, he never was too busy or too tired to help. With ready hand, open pocket, and dauntless eye, he was ever in the forefront of the effort; and when his useful career was cut short in his cane mill, September 26, 1888, it was a loss. His place has never been filled. Mr. Powell married L. Elmira Nichols, of River Falls, Wis., September 23, 1860. Mrs. Powell was born in Braintree, Vt., January 6, 1841. In 1846 her parents moved to Illinois, and in 1854 came to River Falls. Her education was obtained in the public schools and the historic "Old Academy." Mrs. Powell's parents were among the early settlers of River Falls, her parents having come here in 1854. Since her early girlhood she has been a member of the Congregational church and has always taken an active part in the church work. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Powell. Lucy M., wife of Elbridge Currier, of River Falls; Sarah Hayden Powell; Amy E., wife of Charles H. A. Bliss, of Los Angeles, Cal.; Harvey O., who was married to Elizabeth Knox, of Brewster, N. Y.; Newell N., who was married to Cora A. Houston, of River Falls, Wis.; Lyman T., who was married to Eleanor McCord, of Chippewa Falls, Wis.; Miriam, wife of Dr. F. C. Miller, Appleton, Minn. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909

POWELL (Deacon William)
The family is of Welsh descent. The first one coming to this county in 1730. The first family motto was "Better death than dishonor." The Powells were at first Ap Howell, the prefix signifying "son of." They had a crest and coat of arms, and their motto later was, "Fame Survives Fortune." Deacon William Powell, father of the three brothers living in River Falls, was born July 8, 1784, in Charlotte, Vt. He was married to Lucy Newell, of Charlotte, Vt., in March 1804, and moved to Madrid, N.Y., where he lived many years. He was a very active, enterprising gentleman, and took an interest in all that would improve the community in which he lived. He was a member of the Congregational church from early manhood. Mrs. Powell died in March 1843, and he was afterward married to Mrs. Ora Taylor, mother of Mrs. Lyman Powell and Lute and H. A. Taylor, the well-known journalists. In 1849 Mr. Powell came to River Falls, Wis., with his sons Nathaniel and Oliver. He was possessed of great will power, being determined to finish every undertaking which he commenced. At that time the transportation, which was by boat up and down the Mississippi, was very uncertain, and finding he was too late for the last boat of the season, with his son Oliver he made the trip from Prescott, Wis., to Keokuk, Ia., in a skiff. Mr. Powell died November 30, 1865, in River Falls, Wis. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909

PREBLE, James A. (Civil War) is a native of Vassalboro, Me., born September 1, 1850. His parents, Eli and Martha J. Preble, were born in that state, the former October 28, 1820, and the latter September 25, 1825. The father followed farming and lumbering until 1853, when he located in Prescott, Pierce County, Wis., purchasing 160 acres, which he broke and improved. In 1859 he sold the farm and went to Pike's Peak, crossing the plains with "Kit" Carson, whose team he drove. After eighteen months in the West he returned to Prescott, Wis., and did general work until 1862, when he joined the Union army, serving in Company F, Thirtieth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He did good service and was discharged in 1863. Coming back to this section of the country, he ran the mail route between Prescott and Hudson, Wis., in 1865, and then moved to Balsam Lake, Polk County, Wis. For three years he ran a sawmill, then pre-empted eighty acres in Lincoln township, Polk County, Wis., afterward going to North Dakota, where he took up 160 acres. In 1906 he came back to Lincoln Township and lived with his son, James A., until his death, April 24, 1908. His wife died February 8, 1906. James A. received his education in the public schools of Prescott, Wis., and worked in the woods and on the river until twenty-six years of age, then doing general work for several years until 1888, when he first rented and afterward purchased eighty acres in Lincoln township, Wisconsin, which he now conducts, carrying on general farming. He was married, June 19, 1881, to Anna Jones, born August 7, 1860, daughter of William and Mary (Lanigan) Jones, whose sketch is found elsewhere in this work. This union has been blessed with eleven children: Eli W. was born February 10, 1882; Mary, January 6, 1884; Myrtle, June 27, 1885; Frances, January 14, 1887; Alta, November 4, 1889; Stella, May 9, 1891; Irma, January 21, 1893; Lloyd, September 30, 1895; Alice, March 22, 1898; Ramona, January 12, 1902, and Leroy, August 31, 1904. Mr. Preble is a Republican in politics and has been road overseer three terms. He is a Mason, both he and his wife being members of the Eastern Star. The family religion is that of the Baptist Church. "History of the St. Croix Valley", Volume 2, page 1065, (published in 1909).

PRESCOTT, Philander, for whom the city of Prescott is named, was born at Phelpstown, Ontario county, N. Y. Late in the year 1819, he went to Fort Snelling and from that time onward continued to be a resident of this locality. He learned to speak the Sioux language, being in fact related to that people by marriage his wife being a Sioux woman. This fact, added to his influence among them, and being a man of high character, wide education and intelligence, was able to render the officer of the fort much service. He made a translation into the Sioux language or dialect ast it may more properly be called fo a number of French and English hymns for the use of the mission schools near Prescott. He gave his children an English education. In 1835, while acting as Indian interpreter, he came to the present site of Prescott, and as already noted, in conjunction with several officers of the fort, he acting as their agent, laid claim to considerable territory and made some improvements in the way of clearing and erecting log buildings. When the army officers were sent to other posts, Mr. Prescott purchased their interests and held the claim. In 1849, after the government survey, he pre-empted sixty-one acres and laid out what he called the city of Prescott. He resided in Prescott and at the fort alternately until his death, which occurred in 1862. He had been sent by the government on a peace mission to the Indians in rebellion, met them at a point near Mankato, and was cruelly assassinated by those to whom he had proven a true friend, and whom he had every reason to suppose were friendly to him. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909.

PURVES, William D. was born in St. Lawrence county, New York State, June 14, 1831, and is a son of William and Jeanett Purves. He worked on his father's farm and attended the district schools. In 1861 he came to River Falls, Wis., and found employment the first summer with Oliver S. Powell. He then went on a farm and worked about a year, at the end of this time he purchased a 200-acre farm in Troy Township, St. Croix County. He broke up every foot of this land and there he made his home, until about eight years ago, when he rented the farm and moved to River Falls, Wis., about 1899. While he was on his farm he raised some fine horses and cattle. Mr. Purves is a Republican in politics and served as assessor of Troy Township for four years. He married Esther Kern, May 12, 1867. She was born in Madison county, N. Y., daughter of George and Esther (Tooke) Kern. Her parents were born in Ireland, and the family came to America when he was six years old. He grew to manhood in Madison County, New York, and lived there until his death. He was a farmer. The mother died in 1841 at the birth of her daughter, Mrs. Purves. Mrs. Purves was educated in Madison county, New York, and came to St. Croix county, Wisconsin, in 1862. The parents of the subject of this sketch were natives of Scotland. The father was a weaver by trade, and came to the United States with his wife almost immediately after their marriage. He was born May 21, 1789, settled in St. Lawrence county, New York, and died there November 24, 1849, and his wife died April 23, 1876, in St. Croix County, where she lived with her daughter. They were the parents of ten children. Of seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Purves six are now living. They were all born in St. Croix County, on a farm, all attended the district schools, and graduated from the State Normal at River Falls. John W. is the first child born, and resides in Adams county, Wisconsin. He married Ina Gunning and they have one child, Mabel. Bertha is the wife of A. A. Tucker, of St. Louis, Mo. He is engaged in the wholesale millinery business, and has three children, David, Irvin and Robert. Margaret is married to Charles Stone, of Menomonie, Wis.; George K. is a physician and surgeon, a graduate of the Northwestern University of Chicago, and has one son Hiram L. He resides at Wichita, Kan. Charles is a graduate of the State University of Wisconsin, and is a lawyer residing at Seattle, Wash. Esther May taught at Wausau, Wis., for five years. She now makes her home in New Mexico. Cora J. was the seventh child, and died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Purves reside on the corner of Pine and Third streets, in a pleasant home, which was built by Oliver Powell in 1859. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909