On 31 Dec 1884, he was married to Ida C. Gibson in Trempeleau, Wl. She was born on 21 Jan 1865, in Spring-field, IL, the daughter of William Gibson. While living in Lanesboro, MN, a son Ray Bernard Harmon, was born on 11 Dec 1887. A short time thereafter they settled permanently in Decorah.

Bernard Harmon, or Barney, as his friends called him, practiced his profession in and around Decorah for over thirty years, and he was regarded as one of the best veterinary surgeons in the area. Children were especially fond of him, and he was well known around town for his jovial disposition.

Son Ray married Minnie (Mina) Stinson, a granddaughter of Winneshiek County pioneers. They lived for many years in Warwick and Fargo, ND, before retiring in the early 1950’s to Seattle, WA where Ray often entertained his grandnephews with stories about his boyhood years around Decorah. There were tales of the great flood, of exploring caves and hunting for snakes along the Upper Iowa River, and of the 1901 Decorah baseball team, whose mighty hitters were feared from Waukon to Kendallville, Burr Oak to Ossian, and Prosper to Postville.

Bernard and Ida lived for many years on Day Street, later at 808 Maple. He died on 14 Dec 1927, she passed away on 19 Aug 1945. They are both buried at Phelps Cemetery.

Harms, George and Mildred (Johnson)

(Vanessa McLain)

Bio Photo

George and Mildred Harms

August Frederick Harms was born 28 Feb 1831 in Germany. In 1858 he married Sophia Hackman (b. 4 Dec 1836). Five children were born to them in Germany. They were: Herman, Fred, Fredricka, Henry, and Fritz. Herman passed away before they left Germany and was buried beside his mother’s parents.

August and his wife and 3 other children were in Luxembourg when Fritz Herman Harms was born 28 Jun 1867. August and his family sailed for America in 1868 and settled at Highland, Wl. In 1870 he bought land near Cobb, Wl and moved his family there. This farm is the one his great grandson Donald William Harms now lives on.

Three other children were born to August and Sophia. They were Emma, August, and William. Henry, age 5, and Emma, age 1, died during a scarlet fever epidemic. They are buried at Highland.

August's 3 older brothers, Herman, Frederick and Henry, came by way of the Mississippi River to Galena, IL. Then a brother-in-law brought them by ox team to Highland where they spent the winter. In the spring the 3 brothers settled on adjoining tracts of land on what is now called Farmer’s Ridge. Here they put up log buildings and cleared the land so it could be cultivated.

August was a member of the Presbyterian Church at Highland and was a member there until his death. His family are still members there. August passed away on 10 Feb 1911. His wife passed away 12 May 1919.

August’s son, Fritz Herman Harms married Elizabeth “Lizzie” Novak on 8 Jan 1894 and moved to Calmar, IA. Their 6 children George William, Margaret Delia, Harold Herman, Irene Anna, Rosella Marie and Walter Edward were all born in Winneshiek Co.

George William Harms was born 20 Jan 1896. He married Mildred Marie Johnson 25 Jul 1921. They made their home in Calmar. Mildred was born 15 Dec 1895. George and Mildred had one daughter, Virginia Kathleen, born 6 Aug 1922 in Fergus Falls, MN where Mildred’s parents lived.

George served with the army as a machine-gunner during World War I in Europe. He worked for his father, Fritz’s dray business, in Calmar. On 1 Jan 1937 George became sheriff of Winneshiek Co. and moved his family to the sheriff’s quarters in the jail in Decorah. He held this position for 16 years. During this time he also played the role of Santa Claus which he did for 55 years. After retiring George moved to a farm in Canoe Twp. Here he raised ponies and rode in various parades until his death.

Virginia Harms married Fred Raymond McLain 17 Aug 1942. He was born 26 Jan 1922 and died 12 Nov 1982. They were the parents of William Fred, James, Barbara Jean and Michael John. William (or “Bill”) lives in Canoe Twp. James (or ‘Jim") farms in Canoe Twp. and also is a rural mail carrier. Barbara married Don Henderson. She lives with her family in Brisbane, Australia. Michael lives with his wife, Carol, in Sierra Vista, AZ.

Fred and Virginia farmed on the McLain family farm. Bill and Jim are the third generation on the family farm.

James married Catherine Winter 7 Sep 1968. They have 4 children. Michelle Denise, James George II and twins, Vanessa Lynne and Alison Lisa. They were all born in Decorah. Barb and Don Henderson have 2 children: Katherine Anne and Nicholas John Nelson. Barb and Don’s children were born in Sydney, Australia. Bill and Mike and Carol have no children.

Harter, John and Elizabeth (Hillman)

(G. J. Seegmiller)

John Harter was born 29 Mar 1859 in Schwindratzheim, Alsace, France, the son of George and Marie (Gross) Harter. In 1882 at the age of 23 he emigrated to the U. S. and came

Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living is not included. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021