Biography of Bert Milligan
Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties, MN Biographies

Bert Milligan was born in Mower county, Minnesota, September 22, 1872, a son of John C. and Martha (Lambert) Milligan, both natives of New York state. John C. Milligan came with his parents to Minnesota when a mere lad and located in Mower county. As a young man he was engaged in lumbering along the St. Croix river, later he was employed as a carpenter in the building of the state prison at Stillwater, Minnesota. In 1878 he went to Dovary township, Murray county, and located a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of government land. To this place the family moved, in 1880, and began the work of improving the land. The father lived upon this homestead until his death. The mother is still living. He was a member of the Baptist church, and affiliated with the Republican party.

Bert Milligan was educated in the public school of Westbrook township, Cottonwood county, that school being much nearer to his home than any school in Murray county. He then engaged in teaching, and taught in the first school in the village of Westbrook. He taught one winter there and then took up the business yf well drilling, and in the summer season he operated a threshing machine. He followed this line of business for about fifteen years. In 1901 he was employed as stationary engineer for the Westbrook Milling Company, continuing in that employ for about six years. Then for three years he was electrician and chief engineer for the Marshall Milling Company, at Marshall, Minnesota. In July, 1911, he returned to Westbrook to take a position as manager of Farmers' elevator and has since continued in this employment. This plant is one of the best equipped and one of the most successful elevators in the state, the success being due largely to Mr. Milligan's capable management.

Mr. Milligan was married in 1901 to Esther Buswitz, daughter of August and Minnie (Krause) Buswitz. To this union four children have been born: Lloyd, Gladys, Wayne and Vera.

Mr. Milligan is independent in politics. He is president of the Farmers Club of Westbrook; also president of the Westbrook Co-operative Company. His fraternal affiliations are with the Woodmen and the Royal Neighbors.

Among the first things Mr. Milligan had the distinction of doing in the village of Westbrook, was teaching school in the first school house in the village; he drilled the first well in the village, in May, 1900, and broke the first ground at the same time. He bought the first lots sold in the village, and paid the rental for the first box in the postoffice of the village, thus showing that he was there at the beginning of things, with a faith in the future growth and prosperity of the village; and he is still here with the same optimistic opinion as to the future of the village in which his pioneer activities were manifested and his pioneer investments were made.

From:
History of Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties
Minnesota
Their People, Industries and Institutions
John A. Brown, Editor in Chief
B. F. Bowen and Company, Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana
1916.


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