Biography of William Happel
Houston County, MN Biographies

William Happel, a respected resident of Houston Village, where he is now living retired, is a native son of the county, and one whose life has been contemporaneous with its entire history, as he was born June 17, 1858, just a few years after the first white settlers had appeared within its limits. His boyhood was passed amid pioneer scenes, when the Indians were the most numerous inhabitants, and the development of a farm meant, in most cases, years of strenuous labor, with many natural obstacles to overcome and many privations to be suffered. When a young man he worked for a number of winters in the woods at lumbering, though farming finally became his sole occupation. The land he selected for improvement was situated in Looney Valley, Houston township, and he resided on it until his retirement in 1910, when he came to his present home in the village of Houston. During his active career he served twelve years on the school board. He is still the owner of valuable property in Houston township, amounting to 270 acres of land. In 1884 Mr. Happel married Elizabeth Fitting, who, like himself, was born in this county, the date of her birth being June 16, 1861. She died Aug. 10, 1908, having been the mother of five children: Milton, Phillip, Rudolph, Alfred, and Emanuel, of whom the last mentioned is now deceased. Of the others, Milton is a farmer in Winona county; Philip resides in Houston county; Rudolph is a discharged soldier of the great war, and Alfred is living in Houston county. In 1917 Mr. Happel built a nice modern residence, which lies just on the outskirts of. the village, close to the corporation line.

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


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