Biography of John Dewar, Sr.
Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties, MN Biographies

Diversified farming in its truest sense calls for a methodical practice of a thorough rotation of crops. These things have been clearly understood and practiced by John Dewar, Sr., now living in retirement in Lewisville, Watonwan county.

Mr. Dewar was born in the vicinity of London, Ontario, Canada, November 3, 1841, and is a son of Duncan and Ann (Webb) Dewar, natives of Scotland and New York, respectively. The father came to America as a child with his parents, the family locating in the vicinity in which the subject of this sketch was born, in pioneer days, when the land was timbered and there the father developed a home and a farm by years of hard work. John and Margaret Dewar, the grandparents, died in Canada, the grandfather meeting death by a falling tree, after a life as a farmer, having located on what was known as Canada Company land. His family consisted of seven sons and one daughter. Robert and Margaret (Harrison) Webb, the maternal grandparents, were natives of England and Ireland, respectively. They first came to the state of New York, later moved to Canada, about 1838, locating near the Dewars, and there engaged in farming. Their family consisted of seven children. When advanced in years they came to Wisconsin, where the death of the grandfather occurred, after which the grandmother went to Michigan, where her death occurred. In his youth he was a sailor on a British man of war for many years, and took part in one of England's wars.

Duncan Dewar, mentioned above, grew up in Canada and was educated there and began farming in that country. In 1862 he came to Wisconsin, continuing fanning in Marquette county until his death, and there also his wife died. They were the parents of ten children, named as follow: John, Robert, Margaret, Daniel, William, Betsie, Mary Ann, Duncan, Jennie and Katherine.

John Dewar, Sr. grew up on the home farm and he received his education in the common schools of Canada. He came to Marquette county, Wisconsin, about a year after his parents located there, and continued farming for awhile, removing to Minnesota in 1867, locating on land adjoining what is now the village of Lewisville, homesteading eighty acres, and later bought additional land of the government. Here he has resided for nearly a half century. He broke and improved his land and made a success as a general farmer and stock raiser. However, during the three years when the crops were destroyed by the grasshoppers, he was compelled to go to Blue Earth county and work for wages awhile. He purchased one hundred and twenty acres adjoining the village, which he finally sold. He also owns valuable timbered lands in northern Minnesota, and he retains his original one fourth section at Lewisburg. In the fall of 1910 he built an attractive and modern home in the village and retired from active life. He is spending his declining years in the midst of plenty as a result of his earlier years of hard work and good management.

Mr. Dewar is a Republican, but independent in politics, and formerly held various offices in Antrim township. He belongs to the Christian church.

Mr. Dewar was married on May 15, 1864, at Oxford, Wisconsin, by Rev. T. Black, to Jane E. Marsden, and to this union five children have been born, namely: Annie M., Katie, Alice M., Thomas B. and Jessie J.

Mrs. John Dewar was the daughter of Thomas and Ann (Nixon) Marsden. Thomas Marsden was born in Ireland. They were married in Ireland and came to this county about five years after marriage. To them were born eight children five girls and three boys, as follows: John, Jane, Catherine, Mary Ann, Ellen, Elizabeth, Thomas and Christopher. The parents are dead. The mother died in Jackson, Minnesota; the father in Oxford, Wisconsin.

History of Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties
Their People, Industries and Institutions
John A. Brown, Editor in Chief
B. F. Bowen and Company, Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana

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Also see Railway Officials in America 1906