Bio: Dean, Alexander (1914)


Surnames: Dean, Garritson, Rilette

----Source: History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin (1914) pages 695-696

Alexander Dean, the popular undertaker of Eau Claire, is the son of Alexander and Matilda (Garritson) Dean, who were both born in Scotland, where the father followed the occupation of ship builder near Aberdeen until 1868, when he was sent by Queen Victoria to the Bay of Chileura, Quebec, Canada, and employed as a ship builder by the English government. He followed this business successfully for years, making himself financially independent, so that at the time of his death he was living in retirement and ease. After a few years in Quebec he moved to New Brunswick, continuing in the business and obtaining all his timber from the Canadian forests until 1888, when he retired from active work, moved to Eau Claire and here spent the remainder of his life. He passed away in 1895 at the age of 98 years, and was laid to rest in Forest Hill Cemetery. Mrs. Dean died in 1868 and was buried in Rustiguise, N. B. They had a family of twelve children, seven of whom are now (1914) living, viz: Anna lives in Montreal; Eliza, Jennie and James live in Los Angeles; Isabell, Tillie and Alexander, Jr. (our subject). Those deceased are Mary, Maggie, Alexander, William and Alexander.

Alexander Jr., was horn near Aberdeen, in Scotland, in 1866, and obtained most of his education in New Brunswick, N. S., where the family lived for some time. In 1888 he came to Eau Claire and went to work for the Phoenix Manufacturing Company as woodworker and machinist, remaining in that position for about ten years. In 1899 he went to St. Paul, Minn., and took up a course of embalming at the Barnes School of Embalming, and also studied the method of funeral directing, and in 1900 he returned to Eau Claire and opened his present establishment for this work at the corner of Water street and Fourth avenue, where he has since carried on a successful business. He also manufactures picture frames of all designs, at which he realizes a good profit.

Mr. Dean is a man of rare business ability, thoroughly up with the times and a first-class fellow in every respect. He is president of the Eau Claire Rod and Gun Club, of which he was the organizer and founder, and the spacious and commodious building which the club occupies is the result of his personal efforts and supervision. He is a Mason and a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and also was a member of the Knights of Pythias. He is independent in politics, is a member of the church and has been head of the Sunday school for years.

Mr. Dean was united in marriage to Miss Ellia Rilette, daughter of Erickson Rilette, of Christiania, Norway. Mrs. Dean is a lady of excellent business qualifications, and a fair share of the successful business career of Mr. Dean can justly be credited to her good judgment and untiring efforts.



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