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Joseph Watts Wakefield
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Birth: Oct. 27, 1835
Washington County
Maine, USA
Death: Mar. 20, 1926
Ball Bluff
Aitkin County
Minnesota, USA

Joseph W. Wakefield, one of the pioneers of Minnesota, and a business man of influence in Aitkin county, has won his high station by industry, enterprise and integrity. He is now a resident of Aitkin and is engaged in the logging business.

Mr. Wakefield was born in Washington county, Maine, in 1836. His father, Lewis Wakefield, was of American birth, as was also his grandfather, Benjamin Wakefield. The family is of Scotch ancestry. The mother of our subject was of English descent and bore the name of Abigail Watts prior to her marriage. The grandfather, Samuel Watts, fought in the War of 1812.

Joseph W. Wakefield was the third in a family of seven children. He was raised in Cherryfield, Maine, and attended the village schools. He later learned the millwright's trade from his father. He was the inventor of the patent roller process of flour-making, but was beaten out of his patent. When Mr. Wakefield was twenty years of age the family located in Minneapolis, then St. Anthony. Our subject followed the milling business there a short time, and in 1856 went to northern Minnesota and did some of the first lumbering done above the Pine river. He engaged in logging four years and was up and down the Mississippi river many times driving logs. In 1860 he began trading with the Indians in northern Minnesota and was there at the time of the outbreak in 1862, and was obliged to go to Fort Ripley and then to Minneapolis. On his way to Fort Ripley he was chased afoot three miles by the Indians and barely escaped capture. He traded at many posts in the northern part of the state and had twelve stores in that region. He continued in this business until 1884, at which time he owned a business at Grand Rapids. This he disposed of and went to Aitkin and entered into partnership with G. W. Knox in the mercantile business. They did an extensive business, and Mr. Wakefield later sold his interest to Mr. Knox, and he has, since 1884, engaged in the logging business.

Mr. Wakefield has a family of five children, three of whom were born of his first marriage, and two to the second union. He is a man of sterling worth and has done his full share in the opening up and developing of northern Minnesota. He has witnessed a most wonderful change in that region and has taken an active part in the same, and is among the honored pioneers of the locality. He is thoroughly familiar with the state, and traveled over the country in boats previous to the building of railroads through here. He has always taken an active part in local public affairs, and has served as county commissioner of Aitkin county, and as postmaster at Grand Rapids and Crow Wing, Minnesota. He is a Republican politically. Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Wakefield appear upon another page in this volume.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 266-69. The copyright on the photograph and this article have expired and it has entered the public domain.

He was married 5 times but had children with four of his wives: Ellen Beaulieu, Pin-gway Ah-gah-nos, Elizabeth "Eliza" Lyons, and Sophia Ross.

Family links: 
  Lewis W Wakefield (1806 - 1887)
  Peen-Guay Curtis (1854 - 1928)
  Florence Violetta Van Syckle Wakefield (1850 - 1933)
  James R. Wakefield (1862 - 1893)*
  Frank Wakefield (1866 - 1887)*
  George Wakefield (1869 - 1955)*
  Robert L Wakefield (1872 - 1961)*
  Susan Wakefield Snetsinger (1874 - 1950)*
  Charles Wakefield (1875 - 1946)*
  Laura Ann Wakefield Allen (1878 - 1927)*
  Lucy B Wakefield Ryan (1881 - 1951)*
  Dudley Foster Wakefield (1884 - 1968)*
  Joseph Ellsworth Wakefield (1885 - 1974)*
  William Leonard Wakefield (1833 - 1903)*
  Joseph Watts Wakefield (1835 - 1926)
  Martha Ellen Wakefield Libby (1839 - 1920)*
  John B. Wakefield (1844 - 1889)*
  Clara Miriam Wakefield Foster (1848 - 1926)*
*Calculated relationship
Lakeview Cemetery
Aitkin County
Minnesota, USA
Created by: Spanky
Record added: Oct 01, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 59450273
Joseph Watts Wakefield
Added by: Spanky
Joseph Watts Wakefield
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Rosalie
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- Herman Weiland
 Added: May. 9, 2014

- Spanky
 Added: Jan. 20, 2013

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