Lakeside Cemetery’s grave sites include many of Hastings’ founders and political leaders as well as famous and favorite members of the community. The walking tour is a brief glimpse into the lives of some of Hastings early residents.
Lakeside Cemetery was founded in 1867 by nine enterprising women who met to procure a final resting place for families, friends and the community.
On May 6, 1867 they organized the Lakeside Cemetery Association. Mrs. Samantha Lewis was elected to serve as the first president, Mrs. Maria A. Van Hoesen , secretary, Mrs. Julia M. Allen, treasurer and Mrs. Emma R. LeDuc, actuary. Other founders included Mrs. Mary D. Wright, Mrs. Isolene Heath, Mrs. Martha Van Slyck, Mrs. Alvin Stanley and Mrs. Keziah Webster.
Since then Lakeside Cemetery has grown from 13 to 34 acres and serves as a final resting place for 5,500 people, including more than 500 veterans. Lakeside Cemetery is happy to assist family ancestral research and share its historic cemetery records.
Samantha Sprague Lewis was born March 17, 1818 in Otsego, New York and died July 9, 1895. She married William E. Lewis (d. 1872) in 1840; they had two children, Frank (b. 1841) and Emma (b. 1851). The family moved to Hastings sometime between 1855-1857. Samantha was a founding member of Lakeside Cemetery and was elected to serve as the first president at the May 6, 1867 board meeting held at her home.
Maria A. Adams Van Hoesen was born December 21, 1810 in Cortland, New York and died June 30, 1902. Maria married John Van Hoesen in 1852 and they came to Hastings in 1854. Maria was a founding member of the Lakeside Cemetery Association and served as secretary. She was a strong advocate of temperance and attended a statewide meeting of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union at the Presbyterian Church in Hastings on September 20, 1881. In a History of Woman Suffrage by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Maria A. Van Hoesen is listed as one of 14 founding members of Minnesota Women’s Suffrage Association.
Emma Rachel Butler LeDuc Clafin was born September 12, 1824 and died August 1, 1913 in Covina, California. She married Charles Sumner LeDuc in 1855 in Utica, New York and they moved to Hastings. She worked with her husband as he organized the Presbyterian Church. She was one of the founding members of the Lakeside Cemetery Association. Charles died in 1868 and in 1873 she married Havilland Claflin, after his death in 1892 she moved to California until her death. Her cremated remains were sent to her niece, Florence LeDuc and buried at Lakeside next to her first husband Charles LeDuc.
Martha Van Slyck was born Martha La’Mour in Ontario, Canada on August 2, 1829 and died March 18, 1875. She married Lorenzo Van Slyck in Columbia, Wisconsin on October 8, 1850. Lorenzo enlisted in the Union Army April, 1861, leaving Martha to care for their three year old twin daughters and an infant. In 1864 Lorenzo, Martha and their three daughters came to Hastings where he practiced law. Martha was a founding member of the Lakeside Cemetery Association.
Lorenzo Van Slyck was born April 27, 1828 in Canajoharie, New York and died June 7, 1884. He graduated from Union College, Schenectady, New York in 1849 and was admitted to the bar in 1850. He moved to Wisconsin where he served as county judge and married Martha LaMoure, of London, Ontario, Canada on October 8, 1850. In April, 1861 he enlisted as a private in the First Wisconsin Infantry and was promoted to Adjutant of the Nineteenth Wisconsin Regiment, serving until mustered out in 1863. In 1864, Lorenzo, Martha and their three daughters came to Hastings where he practiced law. Martha was a founding member of the Lakeside Cemetery Association. After her death in 1875. Lorenzo married Elizabeth Van Slyck on January 12, 1876.
Charles P. Adams was born March 3, 1831 in Rainsburgh, Pennsylvania and died November 2, 1893. He graduated from the Ohio Medical College in 1851 and moved to Hastings due to poor health. He enlisted in the Civil War in 1861, and was elected captain of Company H, First Regiment Minnesota Volunteers. In spite of being injured, he continued to serve and was brevetted a Brigadier General. He mustered out July 16, 1866 and returned to Hastings to resume his medical practice and help organize the Minnesota State Medical Society.
Augustine W. Gardner was born May 16, 1817 in Bolton, Massachusetts and died July 19, 1889. He came to Hastings in 1862 and built a large stone warehouse and elevator on the Mississippi River levee. A.W. served on the Lakeside Cemetery board during the early years and continued in various roles until his death in 1889. Three of the Gardner children were the first to be interred at Lakeside Cemetery in 1867.
William Gates LeDuc was born March 29, 1823 in Wilkesville, Ohio and died October 30, 1917. He married Mary Elizabeth Bronson LeDuc in Mount Vernon, Ohio on March 25, 1851 and came to Saint Paul, Minnesota where he owned and operated a book store. They moved to Hastings in 1857. The LeDuc Historic House located on Vermillion Street was built between 1862 -1865, while William was serving in the Civil War and Mary was living with their three children, Mary Elizabeth (Minnie), Florence and Willie, in Ohio. The youngest daughter, Alice, was born in 1868. Their home is now a Minnesota State Historic Site open to the public.
Alvaro Jerome W. Thompson was born on February 24, 1841 in Michigan and died March 15, 1900. In 1862 he enlisted in the Thirty-Second Iowa Infantry and when he was mustered out in 1865 he came to Hastings. He clerked in the Register of Deeds office, and then was appointed Deputy Auditor, he became Assistant Postmaster in 1873, and was elected County Auditor in 1880. He served on the Lakeside Cemetery Board of Trustees.
Francis Marion Crosby was born in Wilmington, Vermont, November 13, 1830 and died on November 19, 1910. He taught school and studied law from 1847 to 1855, and was admitted to the bar. In May, 1858, he moved to Hastings and served as Judge of Probate, City Attorney, member of the Board of Education and Judge of the First District. He married Helen Sprague on May 30, 1866. Francis attended the first Lakeside Association meeting on May 6, 1867 and became a member of the committee on rules and bylaws. Helen and Francis had one son, Francis Noble. Helen died November 16, 1869 and was buried in St. Luke’s Cemetery. In 1872, Francis married Helen Bates. Francis and Helen had two daughters and a son. Helen Bates Crosby died October 2, 1909.
John F. Norrish was born in Loxbeare, Devon, England on July 6, 1828 and died November 14, 1897. He married Lavinia Tarr in June, 1858 and they immediately sailed for the United States where he was a partner in Thorne, Norrish & Co., a dry goods business on 2nd Street. He retired from the Dry Goods business in March, 1892. Mr. Norrish also served on Hastings City Council, two terms in the Minnesota Legislature, Minnesota State Agricultural Society Board of Managers and the Minnesota State Prison Board. He was U.S. Surveyor General for Minnesota under President Grover Cleveland. John and Lavinia owned the octagon house at 301 West Second Street, where they raised their five daughters.
G.S. Winslow was born on August 8, 1808 in Williston, Vermont and died on June 25, 1880. He had been a teacher and County Superintendent of Schools in St. Lawrence County, New York. He moved to Governeur, New York and was a successful merchant, County Board Supervisor and elected County Clerk. In October, 1848 he married Harriet Ingalls. Due to poor health he left his position as County Clerk in 1856 and he, Harriett and their four children moved to Hastings. He worked to establish Hastings as the county seat — spending his own time and money. When the first Dakota County Board of County Supervisors met in Hastings on September 14, 1858, he was elected chairman. He served on the Hastings School Board when it formed in 1866 and also served as actuary on the Lakeside Cemetery Association Board in 1868. He was the Dakota County Clerk of District Court until his death.
Charles LeDuc was born on April 2, 1821 in Wilkesville, Ohio and he died at the age of 46 in Troy, Kansas on March 9, 1868. He attended Marietta College and Lane Seminary. He married Emma Rachel Butler from Utica, New York on May 9, 1855 and they traveled to Hastings, Minnesota to start a Presbyterian Church. His brother William Gates LeDuc owned property and their uncle Hammon Stowell owned a sawmill. Charles built a small log house south of the Vermillion River, which they named the Lodge. He held his first service on July 8, 1855 in the District Schoolhouse on Sixth and Spring Streets. A church was built in 1857 on the corner of Sixth & Vermillion and the fledgling congregation continued to grow.
The LeDuc family was growing as well. Edward Mills LeDuc was born September 17, 1857. In 1860 the family moved into their new home, Peace Cottage, at 120 7th Street West and a daughter, Mary Pomeroy LeDuc was born January 30, 1860. Reverend LeDuc opened a boarding school for young ladies in late 1866.. At one time there were 44 pupils attending the school. April 11, 1866 the Hastings Independent School District Board of Education held their first meeting and Charles LeDuc was elected secretary/treasurer. In September, 1867 he resigned the post and moved to Troy, Kansas, hoping to improve his health. He died on March 9, 1868 and his remains were brought back to Hastings to be interred at Lakeside Cemetery.
Daniel Eyre was born 1833 in Northamptonshire, England and died July 23, 1934. He went to Galena, Illinois in his early youth. In 1857 he moved to Hastings where he and his brother Lew J. Eyre established one of the first dry goods and general merchandise trades in a frame building on the corner of Second and Ramsey Streets. This building was destroyed by firs and replaced with a brick building. He served as Mayor of Hastings from 1869 – 1870. He was elected to the state legislature and served two years 1871 and 1872. His business was dissolved in the fall of 1885.
Alvah B. Bell was born in Tompkins County, New York, March 21, 1832 and died at the age of 93 on June 5, 1925. He moved to Tioga County at the age of 16 to learn the trade of cabinet maker. In 1862 he enlisted in the 109th New York Volunteer Infantry and was commissioned in 1864 as a Second Lieutenant by Governor Fenton. After being wounded in the siege of Petersburg, Virginia he was mustered out at Elmira, New York on July 1, 1865. He came to Hastings, married Isabel Chapman in 1866 and went back east to attend Eastman’s Business College in Poughkeepsie, New York. He returned to Hastings, worked in his trade in Winona, and Hastings, and then in 1870 he and his brother, James, bought a furniture factory. They operated the business as Bell, Rhodes and Company and eventually changed the name to Bell Brothers. They built a new factory and added furniture and coffins to their manufactured products. Later they built a furniture store with a funeral parlor. Alvah retired in 1880 and he and Isabel moved to St. Paul, Minnesota. When he died in 1925 he was brought back to Hastings to be buried in Lakeside Cemetery.
Irving Todd, Sr. was born on July 23, 1841 in Lewisborough, New York and died on October 13, 1921. He came to Prescott, Wisconsin with his parents in 1857. He apprenticed at the Prescott Transcript, later purchased the Minnesota Conserver newspaper in Hastings and changed the name to the Hastings Conserver. In 1866 the Conserver merged to become the Hastings Gazette. He remained editor until his death. He was involved in many civic organizations and was a founding member of the Minnesota Editorial Association, a collector for the Internal Revenue Service, an incorporator of the Dakota County Building Association, later renamed First Federal Savings & Loan, and Secretary of the Board of Education for Hastings from 1882 to 1904. On July 13, 1865 he and Helen (Nell) Lucas were married in Hastings. They had two children, Irving, Jr. and Louise.
John Kennedy was born September 22, 1827 in Canada and he died December 1, 1882. In 1853 he first moved to Traverse de Sioux, Minnesota and then in 1854 he moved to Mendota, where he was employed as General Sibley’s bookkeeper. In January 1856 following his election to Register of Deeds, he moved to Hastings. In August 1862, he organized Company F, Seventh Minnesota Infantry, and paid all the expenses of outfitting the men, including uniforms, arms, and transportation. The company was mustered in at Fort Snelling and battled in General Sibley’s Indian Campaign in 1863-1864 before going south to fight against the Confederates. March 13, 1865 he received the rank of major for gallant conduct in the battle at Nashville, Tennessee. He mustered out August 16, 1865. Returning to Hastings he was elected County Auditor in 1866 and served until he was appointed Postmaster of Hastings in 1873. Major John Kennedy was also elected the first Commander of the Hastings Chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR).
John Estergreen was born 1826 in Stockholm, Sweden and he died on April 12, 1894. In Sweden he learned his trade as a carriage maker. Before leaving his native country in 1852, he made the first carriage for King Karl XV. Upon arriving in the US, he joined the large population of Swedish immigrants in Chicago, Aurora and Rockford, Illinois. It was in Rockford that he met and married Miss Eva Swanson. He and Eva had four children. In 1857 they came to Hastings where John established a blacksmith and carriage making business at the corner of Fourth and Ramsey Streets. In 1859 – 1860 he constructed a stone building on the SW corner of Fifth and Vermillion Streets as his business continued to grow. He added an office, and wagon, blacksmith, and trimming shops, a large storeroom and a granary. His son Francis joined him in the business, which was eventually named John Estergreen and Son. They were the largest manufacturers of wagons, carriages, sleighs and cutters in Dakota County.