Biography of Fred Herring of Hawley Minnesota

Fred Herring, a highly regarded citizen of Hawley, Minnesota, was born in Sandford-on-Thames, England, in 1867. After receiving his education in Oxford, he worked as a teacher and later as a bookkeeper in a grocery store with a sub-postal station, gaining valuable knowledge of postal service operations. In 1894, he immigrated to the United States and settled in Hitterdal, Minnesota, before moving to Hawley. Fred became the seventh postmaster of Hawley in 1907, bringing efficiency and systematic methods to his work. He actively participated in social and religious activities, and his commitment to temperance and community improvement earned him widespread respect. Fred and his wife, Victoria, have three children: Made-line E., Bertha E., and William James.

Fred Herring is one of the enterprising citizens of Hawley, Minnesota, and is highly regarded in his community. He was born in Sandford-on-Thames, England, in 1867, and is the eighth child among ten children, with five of his siblings still living. His parents are William and Eliza (Payne) Herring. Fred received his education in the higher-grade schools in Oxford and later became a teacher at the same school where he had studied. Afterward, he worked as a bookkeeper in a grocery store that also had a sub-postal station, allowing him to gain knowledge of postal service operations.

In 1894, Fred Herring immigrated to the United States and settled in Hitterdal, Clay County, Minnesota, where he worked as a clerk in his cousin’s store until 1901. He then moved to Hawley and continued his clerical work for about six years. During the latter part of this time, he served as an assistant postmaster under Mrs. Susan C. Fulton, who took over the postmistress position after her husband, an appointee of President McKinley, passed away. When Mrs. Fulton retired, Fred Herring competed against four other candidates for the postmaster role and secured a majority of twenty-seven votes. In 1907, he received his commission and assumed the position, becoming the seventh postmaster of Hawley.

With his valuable experience gained from his clerical position in England and as an assistant under his predecessor, Fred Herring brought efficiency and systematic methods to his work, earning him widespread popularity among the patrons of the post office. Miss Edna Gibbons, his capable assistant, greatly contributes to the office’s smooth operation. Notably, in 1908, the money order branch of the office recorded a total of $22,385.43, a significant figure for the town.

Fred Herring is the sole member of his immediate family residing in the United States. In 1908, he visited his birthplace with his own family. He actively participates in social and religious activities, serving as the recording steward of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Hawley and as the deputy superintendent of the Sunday school. He is also an engaged member of the Masonic Order and holds the position of secretary in the local lodge. Thanks to his persistent efforts, the local telephone system, which has around 100 subscribers, and the village electric light plant were established. Furthermore, the community takes pride in its successful efforts to prevent the presence of illicit alcohol sales, a result of Fred Herring’s commitment to temperance. His latest endeavor involves beautifying the neglected cemetery, and improvements are expected soon.

In 1899, Fred Herring married Miss Victoria Reed, the daughter of James and Emma (Reed) Reed, who was born in Hamilton, Ontario. Victoria’s parents celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary in 1907 in Burlington, Ontario.

Fred and Victoria Herring have three bright children: Made-line E., Bertha E., and William James, named after their two grandparents.


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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