Many thanks to Scott Coltrane for
sharing information about his Baston ancestors with us.
The Baston family has been in St. Louis
Park almost from the very beginning. Family members served
the growing Village well and included many distinguished and
accomplished men and women.
The story starts with Albert Harrison Baston and Elizabeth
Garvey Baston, both of Maine, as so many St. Louis Park
settlers were. In 1859, with two children, they left Maine
and came to the territory of Minnesota, first locating in
Monticello. Like many settlers they had grasshopper
troubles. Albert decided to return to Maine, but was
convinced to stay when he visited his brothers and
sisters-in-law who had settled in and near Minneapolis. On
May 16, 1860, Albert and Elizabeth bought 80 acres in St.
Louis Park, west of the Pratt farm, along Excelsior Blvd.
When Albert died, Elizabeth gave 20 acres to each of her
Albert and Elizabeth had four children, who each inherited
20 acres of the farm in 1886.
1. John Judson “JJ” Baston (born July 14, 1852 in
Maine) married Sylvia Eudora Thomas (born 1851) in July 1875. They had
six children: George Richard (born 1877), Stella (born 1879), Jennie, Clark, Sadie, LeeRoy
(died at 9 weeks) and Myrtle. George
worked with nephew Bert Baston at a Chevrolet dealer in
Minneapolis in the 1930s. George's son Charles (Chuck) was
born in 1921.
2. Charles Frederick "Fred" Baston was also born in Maine.
He married Ora Zillah Cooper (born in 1867) in November 1885. Ora's father was from Pennsylvania and came to Minneapolis
in 1867. Ora would live into her 90’s, and would have many stories to
tell about the 39-acre Baston farm. From 1885-1934, they lived at
3805 Wooddale, north of Excelsior. That house was removed to
make room for Highway 100 in 1935. From 1935 to 1947, they
lived at 5220 Excelsior Blvd. This house was across from the
sand pit (later the dump) in front of the water tower. From
1949 to 1961, Ora and daughter Ethel lived at 4111 Brookside
3. Emily Baston married Charles Rixon, her teacher
from Pratt School. Emily and Charles had three children,
Alice, Martha, and Howard Searle Rixon.
4. Sara Estelle Baston was born on August 29, 1859.
She married Corwin Burnett Waddell,
who lived in the house next door at 5250 Excelsior Blvd. Sara and C.B. had two daughters, Mayme
Elizabeth and Harriet Ruth.
This information comes from a variety of sources: newspapers, books, yearbooks, phone directories, interviews, etc. Given the varied sources, we cannot guarantee that all of this information is correct, and welcome any additions and corrections. Please contact us with your contributions and comments.