He came to Illinois in 1842. He moved to Minnesota in 1851.
He "made the first improvement in this State on the west side of the river; he also raised the first liberty pole, broke the first ten acres of land, and ground the first sack of flour. He was president of the first Republican meeting in the State" in 1854. (The Fifteenth Legislature of Minnesota, St. Paul: Press Printing Company, 1873, p. 14)
His party affiliation when first elected was provided by The Fifteenth Legislature of Minnesota, 1873.