Biography of Stephen Gardner
Hastings, Dakota County, MN Biographies

Stephen Gardner is a native of Massachusetts, and was born at Bolton, on the 7th of December, 1806. Stephen was the eldest son of a family of eleven children and was carefully educated and fitted to enter Harvard college, at the age of twenty-one years, but chose a different career from the one marked out, and did not take a collegiate course. He determined to seek a home in the West, and leaving home in December, 1827, passed the winter in New England, and in April, 1828, went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and found employment in the salt works. In 1829, he made a trip on a fiat boat down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans. He there became subject to chills and fever which unfitted him for business, and obliged him to seek a more healthy climate. He accordingly came to St. Louis and was for a time in the hospital. In the spring of 1831, he volunteered in the United States service for forty five days, and served as private under General Gaines in the Black Hawk war. In 1882 he supplied steamboats with wood, thus laying the foundation for the large property he now owns. He next engaged in mercantile business at Columbia, Illinois, and met with great success. He was appointed postmaster by president Jackson, and held the Office ten years. He was also engaged in milling business, running both grist and saw mills, first by ox power and afterwards by steam. In 1864 he removed to Hastings and purchased the mill site at Vermillion Falls, including about one hundred acres of land, and the same year, erected a large stone mill. In 1873 he built a mill at Cannon Falls, Goodhue county. In addition to his milling interests, he is also largely inte±ested in banking, and is president of the First National bank at Hastings, and the First National at Cannon Falls, in both of which he is a large stock holder. He was first married in 1848, to Miss Alice Cloghorn of New York, by whom he had one son, Lyman Shaw; both wife and child died of cholera in 1849. In 1850 he was married to Miss Louise S. Ingalls, of Griffin, Georgia, by whom he has six children living, having lost one in infancy. Achsah, the eldest daughter, is the wife of Charles Espenschied of St. Louis, Missouri, who is the manager of the Vermillion mill; Abby was married In 1876, to Samuel W. Mairs, of New Jersey; Stephen P., the eldest son, was married to Julia Brewster, of Chicago, flilnois, in 1877; Clara Louise, the fourth daughter, is an artist, having completed her studies at the celebrated school of Miss Putnam, in Boston, Massachusetts, and has since traveled in Europe and the Holy Land; George and Fred are the two youngest sons, and are now completing their education. Mr. Gardner is eminently a self made man, having accumulated a large property, through his untiring personal efforts. Until quite recently he has been able to give his personal attention to active business, though haying passed the alloted three score and ten years.


From:
The History of Dakota County and the City of Hastings.
By J. Fletcher Williams.
North Star Publishing Company.
Minneapolis. 1881.


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