Following is the 1949 W.P.A. Biography of Valentine Kasparek. He was one of the founders of the Morrison County Historical Society and was in charge of collecting W.P.A. Biographies of area residents.
Synopsis of Life History and Civic Activities of Mr. Valentine E. Kasparek
April 5, 1949
1871- Born in (Poland) Germany. Born Feb. 11, 1871.
1873 – Came to Morrison county with his parents when little over two years old, to North Prairie, Two River (sic) township.
1876 – Commenced to be an “altar boy” in the log cabin church at North Prairie in Two River township.
1876 to 1885 – Attended public school at North Prairie, Dist #6.
1885 – 86 – Attended St. John’s University at Collegeville, Minn.
1886 – Clerk in General Store of Hon. George Geissel, North Prairie, Two Rivers.
1887 – Taught school in Dist. No. 8 and later in Dist. 10. Took active part to bond the County in Two Rivers township to give a bonus to the Little Falls Water Power Co. One Hundred Thousand Dollars to erect the second Dam at Little Falls, which was erected in 1887-88, and when school was over he clerked in Hon. Ira W. Bouck’s store at Royalton.
1890 – Attended St. John’s University in the fall 1890 but owing to sickness he left the school in January of 1891.
1891 – Campaigned in Two River township to bond the township for $2500. To help to erect the first Royalton-Two River Mississippi river bridge, and clerked in Hon. Ira W. Bouck’s store at Royalton, Minn.
1892-1893 – Attended St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minn. and Graduated (sic) in the Commercial Department with high standing leading the class and was given a Golden Medal, the first honor Medal brought to this Morrison county.
1893-1894 – Was employed as a Book-keeper in the C. E. Beale & Co. (Major A. C. Morrill) Flour mill at Little Elk, 1½ miles north of Little Falls.
1894 – Helped to organize the Farmers Alliance, which merged into people’s party that year, now (1940) called “Farm-Labor Party”. In fall of 1894 was elected County Auditor, but owning to a flaw in his naturalization papers, he did not serve in the office.
1895 – Employed as Book-keeper in Barney Burton’s store to 1900 when he was given the management of Burton’s Clothing store at Bemidji, Minn., then a logging center of the North and later a saw mill center, and later now a Teachers College city. He stayed there for three years in the Pioneer days, from Jan 7, 1900 to June 1904, when he came back to Little Falls and engaged in operating a Men’s clothing, Furnishing and Shoe business.
1904-to 1925 – Operated a Men’s Clothing, Furnishing and shoe business in Little Falls.
1906 – Was married to Miss Rose F. Vasaly, who was a principal of the Columbia school for a number of years. Died Feb. 10, 1941.
1914-to 1921 – Placed all the original animals and birds in the “Zoo” in the Pine Grove Park, now called Primeval Park. First “Hornet” Owls, Deer, Peacocks Moose, Raccoon, Elks, Bison Buffaloes, “performing white rats”, Raccoons (sic).
1918-1919 – Helped to create sentiment for “entrance”, now called “Memorial” Park on the East side of the Mississippi river bridge, on the north and south of Broadway street.
1936 – Helped to organize the Morrison County Historical Society, incorporated Sept. 15, 1936.
1936 – Organized the Morrison County Historical Society Museum, located in the basement of the Court-house and spent eight years of gratuitous service to build up through donations from the people, of the antiques, and trusted in the Lord to inspire him what to do.
Equipped all the “Home Guards” first world war of 105 members with uniforms; at cost price.
From 1875(6) to 1950 his “hobby” was to visit the sick and help to bury the dead and to this date he visited the sick and helped to bury the dead to the amount of over 1200 (1400) people.
Helped to organize the old age Townsend Club in Little Falls in about 1934, and trusted sincerely in the Lord that all members will be guided by Divine “inspiration” for the good of the present and future generations.
There were three children born to Mr. & Mrs. Kasparek (Rose F. Vasaly): Nilla, Valentine (Jr.) and Rosemary and all graduated from the Little Falls High School and later Rosemary graduated from the advanced Teachers College and likewise Nilla.
Mrs. Kasparek (Rose F. Vasaly) was born on Oct. 6 1876 in Little Falls, Minn. and died Feb. 10, 1941.
Retyped with spelling corrections by Ann Marie Johnson.
Handwritten text in italics.