Biography of Arthur Augustus McCartan of Barnesville Minnesota

Arthur Augustus McCartan, a prominent real estate dealer and landowner in Barnesville, Minnesota, has made a significant mark in the industry. Born in 1868 in Dubuque County, Iowa, to Irish immigrants Bernard and Mary McCartan, Arthur grew up on his father’s farm, receiving a solid education in Fonda, Iowa. In 1900, he relocated to Barnesville and ventured into the real estate business, eventually acquiring substantial land holdings across Wilkin, Norman, and Clay counties. With his efficient business methods and expertise in managing lands for non-resident owners, McCartan has become highly regarded as one of the most capable real estate professionals in the region.

Arthur Augustus McCartan is a prominent real estate dealer and landowner in Barnesville, Minnesota. He was born on October 3, 1868, in Dubuque County, Iowa, to Bernard and Mary (McNamara) McCartan. Bernard McCartan, born in Ireland in 1826, immigrated to the United States in 1845 and settled in Dubuque County, Iowa. He married Mary there in 1849, who had moved to the area when she was two years old. Bernard McCartan worked as an overseer of a lead mine, a valuable resource in the region, and played a significant role in the community. The family later moved to Pocahontas County, Iowa, in 1870, where Bernard held various local offices, including county commissioner chairman and school treasurer. He was highly regarded and influential in his community. Bernard and Mary McCartan had thirteen children, with six sons and four daughters still living at the time. Bernard passed away in 1887.

Arthur McCartan grew up on his father’s farm and received his education from the local common schools and the high school in Fonda, Iowa, where he obtained a solid English education. Upon reaching adulthood, he engaged in farming and also conducted extensive livestock buying and selling, establishing himself as a practical and successful farmer. In 1900, Arthur McCartan sold his interests in Iowa and relocated to Barnesville, Clay County, Minnesota, where he ventured into the real estate business.

The move brought significant benefits to him both in terms of health and business opportunities. Initially, he worked in the real estate office of W. T. Meagher, eventually purchasing Meagher’s interests in the business in 1892. McCartan also collaborated with Messrs. Horton and Whittlesey, and while employed by others, he successfully pursued numerous speculative deals involving Dakota lands.

Presently, McCartan owns approximately 1,500 acres of land across Wilkin, Norman, and Clay counties. One of his farms, a 240-acre property acquired for $4,800 in 1903, is currently valued at fifty dollars per acre (as of 1909). This farm is conveniently situated five miles from Barnesville on the main road and features highly fertile soil ideal for cereal crops. The property includes a comfortable six-room house and various outbuildings, including a granary with a capacity of six thousand bushels.

His prairie lands near Rosseau in Norman County and Clay County command prices of twenty dollars per acre and are experiencing rapid value appreciation.

McCartan’s firm specializes in managing lands and farms on behalf of non-resident owners. Due to his efficient business methods and the success he has achieved since settling in Barnesville, McCartan has gained a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable and capable real estate professionals in his region.


C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past And Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns And Villages of the Valley From the Time of Their First Settlement And Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.

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