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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 61
ELVIN CHARLES STAKMAN
May 17, 1885-January 22, 1979
BY C. M. CHRISTENSEN
ELVIN CHARLES STAKMAN was born May 17, 1885, on a farm near Ahnapee, Wisconsin, a small town on the west shore of Lake Michigan, the eastern terminus of the twenty-three-mile-long Green Bay and Ahnapee Railroad. Later the name of the town was changed to Algoma, which is listed officially as his birthplace. His parents were Frederick and Emelie Eberhardt Stakman, and he was the youngest of four children: Arthur, born in 1878, Lawrence, born in 1880, and Edna, born in 1883. While he was still a babe in arms the family moved to Brownton, Minnesota, a town of some 350 inhabitants about seventy-five miles west of Minneapolis, just where the Big Woods abruptly gave way to the prairie. All his life he remembered Brownton and the surrounding countryside, and the people there, with affection, and late in life wrote a letter to the editor of the Brownton paper telling of his love for the town.
His schooling through the tenth grade was in Brownton, but some courses necessary for entrance to the university were not available there, and his last two years of high school were in St. Paul, and in Glencoe, not far from Brownton. He was a natural-born scholar; learning came easy to him. Even as a youth he had wide-ranging interests, and his memory, all his life, was phenomenal. For two summers in