C.A. Prettyman, dairy farmer?

dairy cowsI found a couple of clues today that indicate that my great-grandfather, Charles Austin Prettyman—in addition to being a barber, real estate appraiser, mortgage banker, insurance agent and real estate developer—was also a dairy farmer for a time.

According to the membership list published in the Proceedings of the 34th annual meeting of the Minnesota State Dairyman’s Association, held in Wadena, Minnesota, from January 16–19, 1912, Charles Austin Prettyman (referred to on page 13 simply as “Austin Prettyman,” one of several names he went by) was a member of the Minnesota State Dairyman’s Association in 1912:

1912_Annual_Meeting_of_the_MN_Dairymen_title 1912_Annual_Meeting_of_the_MN_Dairymen_p13

Furthermore, in the January 10, 1935, obituary of his father, Alfred Minus Prettyman, it was written that,

Alfred Minus Prettyman was born on October 6, 1862, in Dodge county, Minnesota. When a young lad he came to Alexandria with his parents and remained in and around that community until after his marriage to Mary Ann Horan of that place on December 1, 1884. Together they farmed near Parkers Prairie and at Wrightstown for several years, coming to Hewitt to establish their home when the family of boys were youngsters. They conducted a hotel in Hewitt for a few years and on June 17, 1906, his wife died, leaving him to continue alone to make a home for his sons. This he did well, managing a small dairy at the edge of town and gradually accumulating some property. He owned at different times a farm in Oak Valley and one in Stowe Prairie townships, though his home for the past few years has been in a comfortable dwelling at the south edge of the village.

Here’s the whole obituary, as transcribed by the late Wadena historian, Bob Zosel:


So C.A. Prettyman was raised on a farm by a father who had turned to dairy farming by 1906 (when C.A. was 16 years old), and in 1912, when he was 22 years old, Charles was listed on the rolls of Minnesota’s dairyman as being a Wadena dairy farmer.

Curiously, in 1910, two years prior to his being listed as a Minnesota dairyman, C.A. was listed on the 1910 census (below) as being a roomer with the Waterman family in Lamberton, Minnesota (175 miles south of Wadena), and working as a barber in a barbershop.


So it seems that Charles was just as busy and diversified in his work as a young man as he would be later in his life.

As always, please leave comments below if you can add anything to the story of Charles Austin Prettyman as a dairy farmer.

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