Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Northern Minnesota
Published 1902 Geo. A. Ogle & Co. Chicago, Illinois.
“Containing Biographical Sketches of Hundreds of Prominent Old Settlers and Representative Citizens of NORTHERN MINNESOTA with a review of their life work, their identity with the growth and development of the region; . . . “
Page 245: Complete Biography:
CHARLES E. AITON
Charles E. Aiton, the leading contractor and builder of Alexandria, Minnesota, is a gentleman of thorough knowledge of his vocation, and by his integrity and energetic work has gained a comfortable competence for himself and an enviable reputation. He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, September 6, 1858.
The parents of our subject were John and Nancy Colman Aiton, the former a native of the North of Ireland, and latter of Scotch descent and born at Lisbon Center, New York.
The grandfather of our subject (the subject being Charles) immigrated to America and settled in Iowa at an early day, but later removed to the state of New York. The father of our subject learned the trade of builder and contractor and followed that business for a number of years in the Empire State. (New York)
He removed to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1856, and resided in that city twenty three years. He followed his trade successfully, and his business led him to other parts of the state. In 1879 he removed to Glenwood, Pope County, Minnesota, and there erected the high school building and court house, and became the owner of 500 acres in Reno Township, Pope County, MN. He subsequently built the present high school building in Alexandria and resided in that town two years while thus engaged. He died in 1887. His wife survived him but three months.
Charles E. Aiton attended the public schools in St. Paul and finished his education at a private school in the same city. At the age of twenty two years, having thoroughly mastered his trade under his father’s instructions, he moved to Fergus Falls, where he remained two years, conducting business there for himself. He then went to Puget Sound and lived five years at Tacoma. He helped to rebuild the city of Seattle after the disastrous fire in that city. His residence on the Pacific slope was a success financially, but the moist winters did not suit him and he returned to Alexandria in 1876, where he has since resided. Mr. Aiton built many of the best store buildings in Alexandria and the jail and sheriff’s residence, which was erected in 1900, and he assisted his father in the erection of the elegant courthouse. He also built the jail and sheriff’s residence at Glenwood, Pope County, the Odd Fellows hall at Cando, North Dakota, and many other fine structures in this and other states. He owns a well-constructed brick residence located at 1014 Seventh Avenue, Alexandria, and there enjoys the comforts of a happy household and home.
Mr. Aiton was married January 1, 1879 at Glenwood Minnesota to Isabel Davis, daughter of Lorenzo Davis, a prosperous farmer of Pope county. Mr. and Mrs. Aiton are the parents of five children, namely: Lorna E., Roy C., Archer W., Floyd C, and James L. Mr. Aiton is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Politically he is a republican, but does not seek public preferment.