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Somerset, Wisconsin: 125 pioneer families and Canadian connection: 125th year
(1990?)

[From book "History of the St. Croix Valley" published by Easton, printed in 1909],   pp. 67-79 PDF (7.4 MB)


Page 77

914    HISTORY OF THE ST. CROIX VALLEY
Alex. Germain is of the third generation of a prominent fam-
ily of Somerset, St. Croix county, Wis. grandfather, father and
son all having won success and honor here. He was born in
Somerset village, February 18, 1874, a son of Zephere and Eliza-
beth (Parnell) Germain. His parents and grandparents came
from Canada in the early days when this section of the country
was practically a wilderness. They took up land, which they
broke and improved, and before many years they saw the rich
soil blooming with heavy crops, while the pastures and meadows
teemed with live stock. The father is still living, and after a
life of hard work and successful effort is now residing in retire-
ment, reaping the reward of a well earned rest. Like the other
boys of his age in those days, young Alex. attended the common
schools and then worked with his father several years. In 1899
he went to Valparaiso, Ind., and studied pharmacy, graduating
August 15, 1901, with high honors. While at college he studied
hard and was well liked by both faculty and students. Return-
ing to Somerset, he established a drug store, erecting the build-
ing in which the business is located. He also owns the adjoining
confectionery store. Mr. Germain is a member of the Catholic
Oider of Foresters and attends the Catholic church.
Hudson S. Harriman, for fourteen years postmaster at Somer-
set, St. Croix county, Wisconsin, was born in Orland, Me., May 15,
1833. His parents, Nathaniel and Drusella (Saunders) Harriman,
were natives of that state. Nathaniel followed farming and was
also a millwright. He died in 1882. Hudson S. went to the com-
mon schools and then spent his time farming and in a sawmill. In
1856 he came to Somerset, and with, his brother, Samuel, he
opened a sawmill on Apple river, where they conducted a log-
ging, sawmill and farming business. They built the hotel at
Somerset in 1876. Two years previous to this, in 1874, they had
started a general store in that township. This store was sold in
1884 to H. A. Lagranduer. It was during this partnership that
Hudson S. Harriman enlisted in the Union army. He served in
Company F, First Regiment, Wisconsin V'olunteee. Infantry,
which he joined September 14, 1861. His commanding officers
were Colonel Stockweather and Captain Samuels. Owing to dis-
ability he was discharged June 24, 1862, at Columbia, Tenn. Re-
turning to Wisconsin he wooed and won Mrs. Marcia A. Briggs,
daughter of John H. and Martha A. (Andrus) Palmer, of Maine
and Wisconsin. The ceremony was performed May 31, 1863.
Mrs. Harriman's father died at Amery, Wis., November 26, 1895.
Although he had been declared disabled, Mr. Harriman was
drafted November 3, 1864, and consigned to Company E, Seven-
teenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers. He was mustered out at
Louisville, Ky., July 14, 1865. In 1866 he bought forty acres of
HISTORY OF THE ST. CROIX VALLEY               915
land in Somerset township, which he broke and improved, raising
mostly wheat and oats. Mr. Harriman is a Republican. He has
been town chairman and treasurer. Mr. and Mrs. Harriman have
no children of their own, but an adopted daughter and a niece,
who have spent their whole life with them, have received the care
that would have been given to children of their own. Martha A.,
the adopted daughter, married J. M. Peters, a carpenter at
Arcadia, Neb. The niece, Effie Tenquest, has been a stenographer
at St. Paul, Minn., seven years. Mr. Harriman has always been
a hard working man and is honored for the influence he has had
in the affairs of the township. As postmaster he was affable and
accommodating, and his long service in that capacity gave himi
a wide knowledge of the county and its people.
H. A. La Granduer was born in Somerset township, St. Croix
county, Wisconsin, June 4, 1860, son of Edward and Lenora
(Rock) La Granduer, natives of Sorel and Montreal, Canada.
The father was an orphan and settled in Somerset in 1856, be-
coming a farmer. In earlier life he had worked at logging in
and about Stillwater, Minn., and was captain of a Mississippi
boat for two years. He died at Somerset in 1898. Of his family
of four children three are now dead. They were Edward W.,
Alfred and Josephine. H. A. La Granduer was the youngest of
the family. He was educated first in the public schools of this
county and then at Northfield, Minn. Entering the University
of Wisconsin in Madison, with the intention of taking a full
course he was compelled to leave on account of ill health after
remaining two years. For' a time he clerked at a store in Still-
water, afterward taking a vacation, traveling through Canada
and the eastern states. Upon his return he bought out Sam
Harriman's general store at Somerset. Mr. Harriman, as men-
tioned in another place in this volume, was an old settler and
*a man active in public affairs. Since 1884 Mr. La Granduer has
run his store with great success. He carries a general line of
goods and commands custom for many miles around. The estab-
lishment is a large one, and carries about $25,000 worth of hard-
ware, men's furnishings, dry goods, meats, etc. In this store
the village postoffiee is located. In 1907 he took H. J. Hensen
as his partner. In addition to- the store, the firm owns four
cheese factories in various parts of the county. The business
is now conducted under the name of the La Granduer Mercantile
Company, incorporated. In 1885, Mr. La Granduer was married
to Donattie Derouin, frQm Three Rivers, Canada. The union has
been blessed with six children. H. J. is now attending the State
university at Madison; A. J. is a student at St. John's university,
Collegeville, Minn. Rose is engaged as bookkeeper and sten-
ographer in her father's store. She is a graduate of St. Cath-


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