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Benjamin Hoyt Randall

Male 1823 - 1913  (89 years)


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  • Name Benjamin Hoyt Randall 
    Born 25 Nov 1823  Greensboro, Orleans, Vermont, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Census 28 Sep 1850  Fort Snelling & Vicinity, Dakota, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    1850 US Federal 
    • in the Benjamin H. Randal household. Enumerated were BENJAMIN H. 27 m Clerk Vermont; MARY ANN MCCOWELL 25 f Ireland; MARY ROGERS 29 f Ireland; CHARLES __ 30 m colored Kentucky cannot read/write
    Census 6 Nov 1857  Twp 111 Range 32, Nicollet, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    1857 Minnesota State Census 
    • in the B.H. Randall household. Enumerated were B.H. 42 male born Ind Merchant; ANNA 35 female born Ind; WILLIAM 7 male born Ind; MARY E. 5 female born Ind; M.H. HOLMES 28 male born Ind Clerk; SARAH CARPENTER 23 female born Ind
    Census 28 Jul 1860  West Newton Twp., Nicollet, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    1860 US Federal 
    • in the Benjamin H. Randall household. Enumerated were BENJAMIN H. 35 m Sutter & Mercht $3000 RE $1500 PE Vermont; WILHEMINA 30 f Penn; LOUISA 5 f Minn; FRANCIS 4 m Minn; BENJ'N 2 m Minn; WILLIAM 6/12 m Minn; LOUISA LANGE 72 f Denmark; JAMES GRAHAM 26 m Laborer Lower Canada; MARY GRAHAM 25 f Servt Lower Canada; ELLEN JOHNSTON 13 f Sweden
    Census 7 Jun 1870  St. Peter, Nicollet, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    1870 US Federal 
    • in the Benjamin H. Randall household. Enumerated were BENJAMIN H. 45 m w Books ___ $6000 RE $1000 PE Vermont; WILHELMENA 40 f w Keeping house Pennsylvania Foreign born Parents; FRANK 14 m w Attending School Minn; BENJAM W 12 m w Attending School Minn:WILIAM E 10 w m Attending School Minn; RICHARD A. 8 m w Attending School Minn; HARRY 6 m w At Home Minn; ANNIE L. C. LANGE 84 f w At Home Denmark Foreign born Parents; MARY CALLISE 16 f w Domestic servant Wisconsin Foreign born Parents
    Census 28 Jun 1880  St. Peter, Nicollet, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    1880 US Federal 
    • in the Benj. H. Randall household. Enumerated were BENJ. H w m 56 m keeps grocery Vt-Vt-Vt; WILHELMINA w f 50 wife m Keeps house Penn-Denmark-Denmark; BENJM w m 22 son s clerk Minn-Vt-Penn; RICHARD w m 17 son s student Minn-Vt-Penn; HENRY w m 15 son s at home Minn-Vt-Penn; JOSEPHINE w f 7 daughter s Minn-Vt-Penn; HELENA F w f 5 daughter Minn-Vt-Penn
    Census 6 Jun 1900  Winona, Winona, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    1900 US Federal 
    • in the Benjamin Randall household. Enumerated were BENJAMIN head w m Nov 1823 76 m 46 Vt-Vt-Ct; WILHEMINA wife w f Sept 1829 70 m 46 6/6 Pa-Denmark-Denmark; FRIELI daughter w f Feb 1875 Mn-Pa-Vt
    Census 15 Jun 1905  Winona, Winona, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    1905 Minnesota State 
    • in the B. H. Randall household. Enumerated were B. H. male 81 white VT-VT-VT retired; WILEMINA female 75 white PA-Denmark-Denmark wife; JOSEPHINE FOSTER female 32 white MN-VT-PA actress; HELEN F. FOSTER female 29 white MN-VT-PA teacher
    Died 1 Oct 1913  , Winona, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    • Oct 1, 1913 Winona Republican Herald Pg 3
      «b»MAJOR RANDALL ANSWERS DEATH'S CALL SHORTLY BEFORE NOON TODAY
      Pioneer Minnesotan, President of State Old Settler's Association, Passes Quietly Away - He Assisted in Formation and Construction of State Goverment - His Name Honored All Over State.
      «/b»Biographical Sketch by W. J. Whipple

      At a few minutes before 12, noon, today at the Winona general hospital, with all of his children present save one, Rev W.E. Randall of St. Louis, who was unable to get to Winona, Major B.H. Randall quietly passed away, heart action, which had been growing markedly weaker for the past two days, fading at that time.
      The funeral services will be held at 9 o'clock Friday morning at the pro-cathedral, Rev. Father W. E. F. Griffin officiating. Interment will be made at St. Mary's cemetery beside the body of the major's wife who passed away a few years ago.
      Major Randall had been in his usual good health until he becam prostrated from the intense heat during certain days in the late summer. September 14 he was removed to the Winona general hospital where he might receive the best care and attention that human skill could bestow. Here, day by day, he became more debilitated, until the wheels of life stood still at last. He he closed his eyes to all earthly things, and passed into that sleep which knows no waking. Had he lived until the 23rd day of November he would have reached the nonagenarian age.
      «b»
      Biographical Sketch
      «/b» The birthplace of Benjamin H. Randall was Greensboro, Vermont, and the date of his birth, November 25, 1823. During his youth his parents removed to Craftsbury in the same state, where he received an academic education, and here he passed his you manhood. He came west as far as Chicago in 1846, thence by state to Springfield, Illinois. Here he became a clerk in a hotel, the American House, which became famous as the resort so many men, who afterwards became distinguished as statesmen and leading politicians, both in the state and nation. It was heere he first formed the acquaintanceship of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas, Lincoln being a guest at the hotel at that time. After his clerkship in the hotel he became captain and owner of a canal boat, running from Chicago to Peoria. To further add to his checkered career in western enterprise he taught school in Missouri. He came to Minnesota in 1849, and reached St. Paul on the 30th day of September of that year. Major Randall was with the adventurous military party from Fort Snelling, who in 1849 or 1850 first made the discovery of Lake Minnetonka. Each member of the party "staked off a claim" but the Major never returned to "prove up" and it wa many years afterwards before he again visited the lake.
      Soon after his advent into the new territory he became the confidential representative of Franklin Steele, brother-in-law of Hon. H.H. Sibley. Mr. Steele had embarked in what was, in those days, considered large enterprises pertaining to the development of a new country. Of all that grand galaxy of notable men who were moulding the destiny of incoming statehood. Mr. Randall has pronounced Franklin Steele, "the noblest one of all." He continued in the service of Mr. Steele at Fort Snelling until appointed sutler at Fort Ridgely, a position he continuously occupied until the abandonment of the Fort by order of the United States government in 1867. While the incumbent of this position of trust and responsibility under the Federal government at various times, he was summoned to visit the nation's capitol to confer with the president and the secretary of war, relatting to Indian and territorial affairs, which came within the domain of his jurisdiction. He was personally know to President Pierce, Buchanon, Johnson, and Lincoln, and when in Washington was a guest at the White House. Mr. Randall was a guest of President Lincoln April 14, 1865, at the time of the assassination of the president, and was one of the invited citizens form Minnesota, who accompanied the funeral cortege from Washington to Illinois.

      «b»Territorial Legislator
      «/b» Mr. Randall was a member of the territorial legislature in 1851-52 and 53, his district embracing an area larger than New England, extending from the Falls of St. Anthony to the Missouri river. He was also a member of the State legislature in 1883. While in the territorial legislature he introduced the bill to organize the county of Hennepin and designate its name, a county, today, containing a larger population than his native state.
      It was in teh autumn of 1862, during the period of that memorable massacre of more than eight hundred white men, women and children by the Sioux Indians, that Marjor Randall was in command at Fort Ridgely, of the armed citizens from all the country round, who had fled to the Fort for safety and protection. It was when the savages, a thousand strong, had for several days made unsuccessful invading attacks upon this fortification. Among the occupants of the Fort at this time was Mr. Randall's family, consisting of his wife and their five children, the youngest only seven days old.
      A monument has been erected at Fort Ridgely upon which is inscribed the names of those armed citizens, in commemoration of the heroism and bravery displayed in defense of the Fort.
      For Heroic conduct on the part of Major Randall, during this crucial period of Indian warfage, he received meritorious recognition by and act of the national congress.

      «b»His Business Career
      «/b» After the Fort was abandoned he removed to St. Peter, where he erected a substantial brick building, and became engaged in the wholesale manufature of boots and shoes, importing his workmen from Chicago. He continued this business until he disposed of it to a Minneapolis firm, it being the nucleus of the now well-known house "The North Star Boot & Shoe Company." Subsequently, at St. Peter, he embarked in mercantile trade, also dealing extensively in the purchase of hides and furs. This business he disposed of shortly prior to his removal to Winona, in 1888.
      During his residence at St. Peter he was elected mayor of the town. He also became active in educational matters. For a number of years he served as president of the board of education, and for one term was superintendent of public schools of Nicollet count.

      «b»His Political Status«/b»
      Stephen A. Douglas, a native of the Green Mountain State, declared. "Vermont wa a good state to be born in, but if you were a Democrat who sought political honors it were well to emigrate early." It is proverbial that a native of Vermont who upon reaching his majority espouses democratic principles, seldom changes. While Mr. Randall was a Vermont Democrat, he did not seek political office, but during his long and eventful career he was sought to fill various political offices.
      It is a peculiar and polictial feature of Mr. Randall's life, that for a period of nearly sixty years, after he had attained his majority, he was afforded opportunities of voting for only two candidates for the presidency who were elected and inaugurated, viz., Cleveland in 1884 and 1892, and Wilson in 1912.
      While Mr. Randall was outspoken in his political convictions he was in nowise an uncmpromising partisan. He was tolerant to those with whom he might differ upon political questions. His great person popularity was evince whenever he was a candidate for office before the people where he invariable received his full party vote, beside a large contingent vote from the opposite party. His neighbors and friends knew him to be honest and fearless, and in him they trusted.

      «b»Watched the Growth of a Great Commonwealth
      «/b»Coming to Minnesota upon the advent of its territorial sovereignty he witnessed remarkable events incident to the betterment of a new country, while he enocuntred it hardships and privations. It was before Longfellow had woven his Hiawatha in song and story, it was before the click of the telegraph instrument had carried its message afar from the land of the Dakota's; it was before the whistle of the iron horse had fallen upon the ear of the frontiersman within this "Promised Land."
      When first he landed ont the western bank of the Father of Waters the entire population of the territory scarcely exceeded half the population of the city of Winona; at the present time, (a census taken in 1847 shows the territory embraced a population of only 9840 all told, including half-breeds and other mixed bloods.) It was when the American Fur company dominated the pelt trade with the natives and half breeds extending from Green Bay on the east and far into the British possessions in the northwest.
      In his time he had witnessed the merciless Indian savages on the warpath, bent on rapine and murder, where now dwell undisturbed in peaceful, contentment, prosperous communities. From a few settlements of sturdy men and self-sacrificing women he had intelligently watched the development of the State of Minnesota from its infancy.
      Where now towns and cities have risen amidst the activities of human enterprise there he has seen naught buth the ascending smoke form struggling tepee of lo! the poor Indian, who sees God in clouds and hears him in the wind. He lived in, and saw the progress, step by step, of the magnificent commonwealth, from a population of a few thousand inhabitants until it had reached a population of two million souls.
      He had lived to see the city of St. Paul, the capital of the state, develop from a mere Indain trading post until it became a flourishing city of more than a quarter of a million in population, and here he also saw a State capitol building rise to perfect completion, whose artistic beauty is a source of pride and admiration to every patriotic citizen of the North Star State.

      «b»Friend of Prominent Pioneers
      «/b» In those good old pioneer days, when the latch string yielded gently to the touch, he enjoyed a personal friendship with those distinguished men who founded the territory and who became the architects of the State. They were ever welcome with "good cheer" at his home in Fort Ridgely and later on at St. Peter, where the genial host and charming hostess, his wife, dispensed a bountiful hospitality.
      Coming at an early date into, then, the far-west, the land of the "sky-tinted waters" he became intimately associated with those rugged pioneers of force and intellect, who by their keen sagacity and intellectual power laid the foundations of this great commonwealth of Minnesota. He became the co-worker and co-counsellor in the formation and construction of the state government. He held close relationship with such eminent men as Hon. H. H. Sibley, Govenor Alexander Ramsey, Hon. H. M. and Edmund Rice, and later on came Judge Charles E. Flandrau, United State Senator M. S. Wilkinson, General Winfields S. Hancock, Hon. John B. Brisbin, Governor Willis A. Gorman, and Rt. Rev. H. B. Whipple, and a host of others, whose names sublime, departing left footprints on the sands of time.
      It is only a just tribute that the name of Major B. H. Randall should be enrolled among the valiant pioneers, whose glorious acheivements have contributed so much toward the grandeur of the State of Minnesota, in which he was one of its potential factors.

      «b»President of Old Settler' Association
      «/b» Major Randall was the last survivor of his family, likewise his consort of her family. He was also the last survivor of the territorial legislature of Minnesota.
      He was a charter member of the Old Settler's Association of the State of Minnesota, which held its annual meetings in the first day of June. The qualificaiton to become a member of the association, was, to have been 21 years of age, and to have been a resident prior to 1850. Seven members were to constitute a quorum. Three years ago a quorum was present, at which time Mr. Randall was elected its president. The two succeeding years, owing to the feebleness of its surviving membbers, no quorum materialized. At its last meeting in June 1913 of its remaining nine members only five were able to attend the annual gathering. Doubtless, this memorable association has held its last meeting.
      Mr. Randal had written various valuable historical contributions for the public press and also for the State Historical Society, relating to Indian life and character; also a history of Fort Ridgely, and one relating to the organization of the State of Minnesota.

      «b»His Family Life
      «/b» The marriage of Benjamin H. Randall and Miss Wilhelmena Helena Lange, occurred February 28, 1854, at Quincy, Illinois. Previous to this date Miss Lange, who was a native of Philadelphia, came west to visit as an invited guest, Captain Monroe and family, this officer being stationed at Fort Snelling, where first the acquaintance of the two was made. Mrs. Randall died in this city on November 19, 1907.
      Their long wedded life together was an exceedingly happy one and a large family of sons and daughters blessed their union. They lived to see their children reach manhood and womanhood, all of whom became honorable citizens and eminently successful in their respective professions. Two of the children pre-deceased their parents, viz., Mrs. Mary Louise Noble, who died at Winona, December 9, 1898, and Dr. H. R. Randall who died in this city, December 7, 1890. The surviving members are, Frank L. Randall, former Superintendent of the State reformatory at St. Cloud, Minn., but recently appointed chairman of the board of prison commisioners of the State of Massachusetts, Rev. William E. Randall of St. Louis, Dr. B.M. Randall of Graceville, Minn., R. A. Randall, city attorney of Winona, Mrs. G. L. Fostor of Chicago, and Miss Helena Freili Randall of this city.

      «b»Tribute to a Gentleman
      «/b» Mr. Randall was not sought because he descended from a long line of illustrious ancestors for none he claimed. Neither were his admirers attracted to him on account of the dazzle of wealth or amassing great riches was not the inspiration of his ambition. Men loved him not for the enemies he had made, for he had none, but for the nobility of his character, for his high sense of honor, his gentleness, his ingeniousness, and all those loving attributes characteristic of his nature. He was distinctly a gentleman of the old school, of politeness, of gallantry, especially in the presence of ladies, who appreciatively recognize the urbane manners of a well-bred person. Certainly he made a long and delightful voyage on life's journey, and seemingly, each passing day left a pleasant recollection. He was greatly endeared to his friends, and it was ever a pleasure to speak kindly and charitably of them.
      Having long since retired from business activity, he passed the sunset of life in quietude and repose. His daily resort for the past several years, was at the Arlington club in this city, where he invariably received a cordial welcome, being personally known to nearly all iff not all, the members of the association. It was here he passed much of his time in thoughtful reading, or in social conversation with friends, or, if need be, would enter into the pastime of the passing hour with as keen a zest and as buoyant a spirit as the most youthful member present. Here, scarcely a social event transpired, that was pronounced complete, unless he was present to give it a touch of humor and enhance the enjoyment of socialbility. Essentially the Major was the personal ideal of the Arlington club, from the whence he will be sadly missed for those graces of character and kindness of heart, which adorn the gentleman.
      In the death of Benjamin H. Randall the state will mourn the loss of a noble citizen, his friends and estimable gentleman and his family a trusted counsellor and a dear companion.


      Oct. 3, 1913 Winona Republican Herald Pg 3«b»
      FUNERAL SERVICES HAD Many from Out of City Present at Burial of Major B.H. Randall Here Today.
      «/b» The funeral of the late Benjamin H. Randall was held this morning and was largely attended by Winonans and relatives and friends of the pioneer from out of the city. At 9 o'clock services were conducted at the St. Thomas pro cathedral. Low mas was celebrated with organ music and short funeral ceremonies. Rev. Father W. E. F. Griffin officiated. Short services were also conducted at the grave. Those from out of the city present were the following: Mr. and Mrs. L.C. Moose and Dr. E. _ Green, all of St. Cloud, A.C. Randall of Ottawa, Minn., Cotter Randall of Minneapolis and Col. and Mrs. J.C. Donehower and daughter of St. Paul. The following acted as pallbearers: R.H. Jackson, Wm. A. Baumann, Frank J. Allen, S.H. Somsen, L.L. Brown and H.L. Buck. Interment was made at St. Mary's cemetery.
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    Buried St. Mary's Cemetery, Winona, Winona, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
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    Person ID I1095  Brendas Branches
    Last Modified 26 Dec 2013 

    Father William Randall,   b. 4 Sep 1789, Greensboro, Orleans, Vermont, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Apr 1867, Greensboro, Orleans, Vermont, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Mother Deborah Cate,   b. 5 Jan 1791, Sanbornton, Belknap, New Hampshire, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Mar 1865, Greensboro, Orleans, Vermont, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years) 
    Married 1814 
    Family ID F455  Group Sheet

    Family Wilhelmina Helena Lange,   b. 8 Sep 1829, , , Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Nov 1907, , Winona, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years) 
    Married 28 Feb 1854  Quincy, Adams, Illinois, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • RANDALL, BENJAMIN H LANGE, W H 1854-02-27 / ADAMS
      County «tab»ADAMS
      Title MARRIAGE RECORD«tab»«tab»«tab»
      Begin Date 1825 «tab»
      End Date 1926«tab»
      IRAD Dep. WIU «tab»
      Accession Number 2/0203/08
      «tab»
    Children 
    +1. Mary Louise Randall,   b. Abt 1855, Fort Ridgely , Nicollet, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Dec 1898, Winona, Winona, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 43 years)
    +2. Frank Lange Randall,   b. 30 Sep 1856, Fort Ridgely , Nicollet, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Aug 1921, Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years)
    +3. Benjamin Monroe Randall,   b. Jun 1857, , , Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 May 1930, , Big Stone, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 72 years)
     4. Rev. William Edgar Randall,   b. 14 Feb 1860, , , Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Oct 1916, Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years)
    +5. Richard Austin Randall,   b. 11 Aug 1862, Fort Ridgely, Nicollett, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Nov 1921, Rochester, Olmsted, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years)
     6. Henry Raymond Randall,   b. Abt 1865, , , Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Dec 1890, Winona, Winona, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 25 years)
     7. Josephine Agnes Randall,   b. 28 Jan 1873, , Nicollet, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1945  (Age 72 years)
     8. Hellena Freilligrath Randall,   b. 3 Feb 1875, St. Peter, Nicollet, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Dec 1932, Opa Locka, Dade, Florida, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 57 years)
    Last Modified 14 Jul 2013 
    Family ID F452  Group Sheet