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George Wall and Sarah (Cronk)

 

In 1870 some of the earliest settlers to arrive in Blaine Township, (then known as Anoka until 1877), were the George Wall family which included his wife, Sarah (Cronk) born in New York in 1843, and children, Arthur 1864, Flora (Porter) 1866, Drusilla 1868, and Jessie (Otte) 1869, born in Wisconsin. Later, three daughters born in Blaine were Ella 1871, Stella 1875, and Ethel 1881, who died in their youth.

 

George Wall was born in Sommersetshire, England in 1830, and came to America in 1848 with his parents, John Wall and Anna Thier, and a brother, Edward, to Onandaga County, New York. They brought with them their large Bible that took many splashings of water when crossing the ocean, which remains in good condition.

 

They farmed before George became a coachman for eleven years. In 1860, he married Sarah Cronk, daughter of Hiram Cronkhite of Auburn, New York, and traveled to Oshkosh, Wisconsin where they farmed until 1870. The family then came to Blaine and settled on Section 22 (now 104 Avenue and Xylite). With the assistance of a neighbor, Green Chambers, (who had arrived with his family from Kentucky in 1865 they built a log cabin and other buildings and helped each other farm.

 

Most of the clothing was hand sewn. They raised most of their food products and canned it for winter supply. They butchered pigs and chickens, milked a few cows, and sold potatoes and hay which was hauled by horses and wagon to Minneapolis. For water supply, a windmill frame was built of wood with a wooden wheel shaped as a cup. The boards closed and opened for the wind to spin it for pumping water. Later a wooden frame house was built, but it burned down in 1935.

 

Chippewa Indians camped in the nearby area of what is presently 120th Avenue and Raddison Road, then the only trail and later known as the Rice Creek Road. They regularly traded their meats for flour, tobacco, and other products that George Wall brought back from Minneapolis.

 

Mr. Wall served on the school board, as Blaine Town Board supervisor in 1893-5, and other times as road overseer. He assisted in requesting for school district #60 because his son, Arthur, had to attend school in Centerville by walking, skiing, or horseback. He taught his son to read the Bible and was remembered by the grandchildren as regularly reading it himself. They attended the Baptist church in Anoka.

 

George had two horses which he gave to his daughters as wedding gifts. One a dapple gray, was given to Flora when she was married to Clarence Porter of Ramsey in 1888. A white horse was given to Jessie Pauline when she was married to Charles Otte of Blaine in 1894. With it Jessie often traveled to Anoka - a round trip of thirty miles to visit her parents and other relatives. Drusilla died in 1886.

 

In 1907, they sold the farm to the Theodore Breyen family from Burns Township. They moved to Anoka, later residing at 300 Franklin Lane. George died on April 30, 1909, and Sarah died on June 20, 1917.