Biography of Jacob Bouquet
Houston County, MN Biographies

Jacob Bouquet, a pioneer merchant of Caledonia township, and now living retired in the village of Caledonia, was born in Belgium, July 20, 1834, son of Michael Bouquet, his mother's family name being Pohl. He was the first member of the family to come to The United States, being then a young man, and making the voyage on a sailing vessel which took about thirty days to make port. After reaching this country he went first to 'Ohio, where he remained for about two years. After that he visited a number of places, working at his trade of mechanic, and gradually moving westward until he arrived at Chicago. From that place he continued further west to Galena, Ill., where he stayed two years, and there cast his first vote, which was for President Lincoln. Not having as yet found a place in which he cared to make a permanent settlement, he crossed over the river into iowa, remained there two years, then spent another two years or so in La Crosse, Wis., and finally came up the river to Houston county, Minn., locating in Caledonia township. Here he made the acquaintance of Thomas Abbot and was associated with him for a number of years in making wagons, ploughs, drags, sleighs, and other useful articles for the early settlers. Mr. Bouquet then changed his occupation, entering into a general mercantile business in partnership with J. C. Kiern, now of Winona. They also bought and operated a store in Brownsville, their connection lasting six or seven years when it was dissolved. After that Mr. Boquet remained inactive for about two years, but at the end of that time he opened a store in Galedonia, of which he was sole proprietor for thirty-three years, also owning the building, which he had erected, thus increasing the property value of the village. As a merchant he had a successful career and formed many warm friendships, establishing a wide reputation for enterprise and integrity, and it was a notable event in the history of the village when he finally announced his retirement. He was one of the first citizens in the township to take shares in the railroad when it was put through, and he also became a stockholder in the Farmers' elevator. A member of St. Peters Catholic church, he served forty five years as its treasurer. He is now in the enjoyment of a fair competence, the result of his many years of successful industry. Mr. Bouquet married Josephine Wagner, a native of the Duchy of Luxemburg, who died at the age of seventy-three years. Six children were born to them: John P., Herman, Josephine, Mary, Susie and Cecelia.

The History of Houston County, Minnesota
Edited by: Franklyn Curtis-Wedge.
H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co.
Winona, Minn. 1919


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